'We saw it with Hardik Pandya. Now, seeing it with Rishabh Pant': Gavaskar points out major transformation in India WK | Crickit
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'We saw it with Hardik Pandya. Now, seeing it with Rishabh Pant': Gavaskar points out major transformation in India WK

Jun 21, 2024 08:22 PM IST

Talking about Pant's batting, Gavaskar asserted that the wicketkeeper batter has shown maturity in the ongoing tournament, which is also the case with Pandya.

Rishabh Pant has made an inspirational return to international cricket after about 17 months and now playing a crucial role for the Indian team in the T20 World Cup. When the flamboyant wicketkeeper batter was involved in a horrific accident in December 2022, the doctors thought he would need about 18 months to recover, but the 'miracle man' made competitive cricket return in 14 months with IPL 2024. Pant's return to cricket is nothing sort of a miracle as he sustained multiple injuries, including three major ligaments in his right knee – ACL, PCL, lateral-collateral and more. However, the left-handed batter didn't give up and fought like a warrior during his tough times.

Rishabh Pant has been impressive on his return to competitive cricket.(BCCI-X)
Rishabh Pant has been impressive on his return to competitive cricket.(BCCI-X)

On his return, Pant made a statement in IPL 2024 with 446 runs - his third most successful season as a batter. Meanwhile, he also displayed great signs on his return to India's blues as he played a crucial knock against arch-rivals Pakistan in the group stage.

India great Sunil Gavaskar lavished praise on Pant for making a strong comeback after a life-threatening road accident as he looks fitter on his return.

"It's a miracle, you know? I mean, we all were so concerned when we heard about the accident. We heard about the severity of the injuries and we were all praying for him just to be ok. But not only has he been ok, he's come back so strongly. He's lost a little bit of weight, which was probably needed and it looked at one stage that he was just maybe getting a little overweight. He's lost a lot of bit of weight and he's looking so good, so fit," Sunil Gavaskar said on Star Sports.

Pant has also done some exemplary work behind the stumps, as Gavaskar pointed out his efforts with the gloves against Afghanistan. He grabbed three catches to dismiss the likes of Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Gulbadin Naib, and Naveen ul Haq in the game, which brought his total dismissals for the tournament to 10, which helped him become the most successful wicketkeeper in a single edition of the T20 World Cup. He pipped the likes of legendary AB de Villiers, Adam Gilchrist, and Kumar Sangakkara, each with nine dismissals to their name.

Also Read | Rishabh Pant creates history, breaks Gilchrist, Sangakkara's long-standing wicketkeeping record at T20 World Cups

"Look at his mobility. Those two catches that he took, he was. He ran about 20-30 yards. I know the ball was up in the air, but there was Rohit Sharma there, one of the safest pairs of hands in the game. But wicketkeeper's gloves are always much safer than ordinary hands, you know, plain hands. So he was there and again recognising the situation," Gavaskar added.

Talking about Pant's batting, Gavaskar asserted that the wicketkeeper batter has shown maturity in the ongoing tournament, which is also the case with Hardik Pandya.

"This is the maturity that is so important. We've seen it with Hardik Pandya, we are seeing it in Rishabh Pant's cricket. The maturity of understanding conditions. Yes, batting wise, he will still continue to play the game. That's exactly what you want because he's a naturally attacking player and he can upset the bowler totally. That's what he did. He didn't score too many runs. He got 20 in about 10 deliveries at a SR of 200 but that is exactly what you want at that stage," Gavaskar concluded his assessment.

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