'I had tears in my eyes': Ravi Shastri enters Indian dressing room after Pakistan win, pays glorious tribute to Pant | Crickit

'I had tears in my eyes': Ravi Shastri enters Indian dressing room after Pakistan win, pays glorious tribute to Pant

Jun 11, 2024 07:19 AM IST

Ravi Shastri, who was invited to India's fielding medal award ceremony, delivered an emotional speech on Rishabh Pant for taking three catches vs Pakistan.

Watching Rishabh Pant play the way only he can last evening against Pakistan at the T20 World Cup in New York was a heartwarming sight for every follower of Indian cricket. About 18 months ago, when Pant met with a near-fatal car crash, no one knew if he'd ever be able to walk again, let alone play cricket. But his dedication, passion and commitment towards the sport and to make a return is the true embodiment of never giving up.

Ravi Shastri got a bit emotional there while talking about Rishabh Pant.(Getty)
Ravi Shastri got a bit emotional there while talking about Rishabh Pant.(Getty)

Against Pakistan, Pant was back and how. Taking chances, swinging the bat with all the power in the world and batting on the edge. You've heard of the term 'living on the edge', but with Pant, risk is an integral part of his batting. Pant went after Haris Rauf, Imad Wasim, Mohammad Amir and Naseem Shah en route to a chancy innings of 42 off 31 balls, but one that proved to be the difference as India went on to beat Pakistan in a low-scoring thriller by six runs.

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Pant's story is one for the ages, and no one but Ravi Shastri could have done justice speaking about Indian cricket's greatest comeback story. After India beat Pakistan by six wickets, Shastri, the former coach, entered the Indian dressing room to award Pant the fielding medal for taking three catches, before paying an emotional tribute to the 26-year-old.

"I had tears in my eyes when I read about his accident. And when I saw him in hospital, it was even worse. And then for him to come back from there and be back in the A-zone playing one of the biggest games of all time – India vs Pakistan – is heartwarming," Shastri said.

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"Batting… everybody knew what you were capable of – the X-factor you have, but your wicketkeeping and the range of movement that had got back so quickly after the operation is a tribute to how much you worked hard. And not just for yourself, it's an inspiration to millions across the globe that from adversity and jaws of death, you can snatch a win as well. So well done, fantastic. Keep up the good work, and keep going. Enjoy, guys; well played today."

Watch Ravi Shastri's speech below:

Rishabh Pant is well and truly back

Pant swung into action in the IPL 2024, playing impactful knocks as long as the Delhi Capitals remained in contention for the Playoffs. Drafted into the squad, Pant scored 53 against Bangladesh in India's only warm-up game before warming up for the league stage with a crisp 36 not out against Ireland. Pant carried his form in the high-octane Pakistan clash and took the attack to the opposition.

But as Shastri pointed out, Pant's keeping was equally captivating. He first took a catch running backwards to dismiss Fakhar Zaman, balancing himself well to avoid getting knocked down due to the helmet. Shortly after, Pant completed a regulation catch to get rid of Shadab Khan, but his best game effort was a diving low catch he took to get Imad Wasim Out. An inside edge that flew off the bat, Pant got under it with brilliant control. Having shown great touch with the bat and immaculate movement and performance with his keeping, it's safe to say that Pant has pretty much solidified the wicketkeeper's position, at least for the T20 World Cup.

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