How Virat Kohli inspired Rishabh Pant’s record-breaking T20 century | cricket | Hindustan Times
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How Virat Kohli inspired Rishabh Pant’s record-breaking T20 century

Rishabh Pant hammered 100 off just 32 balls in the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 Trophy clash vs Himachal Pradesh and cited Indian cricket team skipper Virat Kohli’s batting mantra as an inspiration.

cricket Updated: Jan 14, 2018 18:07 IST
Rishabh Pant said he is inspired by Virat Kohli’s mantra of focusing on scoring runs for the team, not chasing records.
Rishabh Pant said he is inspired by Virat Kohli’s mantra of focusing on scoring runs for the team, not chasing records. (AFP/Getty Images)

“Records happen if you keep scoring,” said Rishabh Pant after smashing the fastest T20 century by an Indian during the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 Trophy, here today.

Pant hammered 100 off just 32 balls, which happened to be the second-fastest T20 hundred, only behind Chris Gayle, who reached the milestone off 30 deliveries during IPL 2013.

In, 2016 Pant had blasted India’s fastest first-class hundred off 48 balls.

Asked about his penchant for creating records, Pant gave a modest reply.

“Obviously, I felt good about it when I came to know, you always do, when that happens. Last season (2016-17 season) too, I had scored the fastest first-class hundred in India and then this year (2017-18 season) in T20; so yes, it feels good to see your name in the record books,” he said.

“But one doesn’t play for records. I try to perform and while doing that records happen.... like Virat bhai (Kohli) keeps scoring, I try to do the same. Records happen if you keep scoring, so at the end of the day, if you are scoring runs then everything is good,” he added.

The explosive left-handed batsman said keeping a positive frame of mind worked wonders for him today.

“It was like I bat every day. Today, I came in with a bit more positive mindset. I was thinking that I have to bat long and score big. The wicket was good for batting,” said Pant after leading Delhi to a 10-wicket win over Himachal Pradesh.

“I started off normally. I even left two-three balls when I got a good delivery, but then I was middling the ball well and runs began to flow and I capitalised on that. I felt I had played 40-45 balls but later came to know that I had played 32 balls only for the hundred,” he was quoted as saying by the BCCI website.

It was the first century of the domestic season for Pant, who was abruptly sacked as Delhi captain last week.

“Yes, it is my first century of the season. I have been trying to score big for some time (now). I was only getting to 30/40/50/60 runs but wasn’t getting a big score.

“I was batting well but wasn’t able to convert it into big scores so that is what I was trying to do; to convert the knock into a big one and that happened today.”