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Friday, June 21, 2024
Rishabh Pant

Rishabh Pant

Age 26IndiaINDIA
Left Handed Wicket Keeper

Rishabh Pant belongs to the Adam Gilchrist school of Cricketology, a dashing left-handed batsman who keeps wickets as well for his side. Originally from Uttarakhand, Pant had to shift bases quite a few times from a tender age as he targeted playing cricket at the highest level.

It was the 2016 U-19 World Cup that brought him fame across the country. He smashed a record-breaking fifty against Nepal while also racking up a ton against Namibia soon after. Unlike most southpaws, Pant's strength is mostly in the arc between mid on and square leg as his terrific bat swing causes mayhem on the bowlers. He does pepper the off side too but not as much as the usual left-handed batsman. Picked by the Delhi franchise in the Indian T20 League in 2016, Pant showed his skills with quite a few explosive knocks.

Although he burst onto the scene as a batsman for the limited-overs format, Pant has also scaled greater heights for Delhi in the domestic circuit as far as the four-day format is concerned. He smashed a historical century off just 48 balls in the 2016-17 season while also becoming one of the youngest ever batsmen to record a triple century. Pant finished among the top five run-getters of the season and what stood out was his astonishing strike rate of 107 - unimaginable in this format especially considering his staggering consistency.

After his mighty batting display for Delhi in the Indian T20 league in 2018, the selectors took a chance with him in the shortest format of the game. He was part of India’s T20I squad for a few series but he was unable to display his magic. He had an impressive Indian T20 League season, scoring over 350 runs and a noteworthy Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy in the 2017/18 season, which made him part of India’s T20I squad for the Nidahas Trophy in 2018. After the next few months, Pant was named in India’s Test squad against England and he received his Test cap in the game at Trent Bridge. The following month after his Test debut, Pant made his ODI debut against West Indies.

Since then, Pant has cemented his spot in India’s team across formats. Within a few years into international cricket, and at the age of just 23, Pant scored over 1000 runs in Test cricket, including a Test hundred each in England and Australia. However, in 2020, Pant did have a slightly tough phase in his career. He was the first-choice wicket-keeper after Dhoni’s retirement, but those big shoes were never easy to fill.

Pant had a poor Indian T20 League in 2020 and failed to impress in limited-over cricket. Fans often criticized him whenever he made a mistake on the field and was then compared to Dhoni. But that period did not last too long. Pant was dropped from the white-ball squad on their tour to Australia but he kept his spot in the longest format. He made most of his opportunities there. Rishabh scored 97 runs in the second Test in Melbourne and played a match-winning knock of 89 runs in the fourth innings of the Test at Gabba and helped India chase a target of 328 runs.

Over the last few years, Pant has become one of the most crucial players for India across formats. He was also named in India’s T20 World Cup squad in 2021. Rishabh Pant was named captain of Delhi in the 2021 season after an injury to Shreyas Iyer ruled him out. He was retained as captain in the following season. Pant also captained India against South Africa in 5 T20Is in 2022.

Pant's keeping has been safe and the young lad has shown eagerness to learn with every game which is pleasing. With MS Dhoni announcing his retirement from international cricket, Pant appears to be the perfect successor to keep the legacy going for the wicketkeeper-batsman slot in the Indian team.

However a freak car accident led to Pant requiring a lot of time off cricket in 2022 and 2023. However, that did not stop the gritty southpaw to put in the hard yards and he will be back to play for the Delhi franchise in the 2024 edition of the Indian T20 League, hoping to make his way back into the senior national team.

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