Rishabh Rajendra Pant astonished Indian Cricket fans during this TEST season against Australia (at their home ground) and then world no 1 England, with his thrashing but responsible performance . He topped India’s run getter charts and scored 544 runs in seven games. His spectacular innings caught everyone’s eyes as he made 97 and 89 unbeaten in Australia, to lead a historic fourth-innings chase in Brisbane, which made him a star.
In ONE-DAY matches, he continued his form and scored 155 runs in two innings and wowed the crowds by making back to back half centuries at a strike rate of more than 150. He decorated his innings with 11 sixes and 8 fours and emerged as such a key player that legends Saurav Ganguly obsessed with him, Ian Chappelll, Inzamam Ul Haq declared him unavoidable in any format of game and the former Indian Captain Moh. Azharudding advocated him for the baton bearer of Captaincy after Virat Kohli.
However, Pant’s journey was not laid with roses. He became a crowd favourite in the 2016 Under-19 World Cup by scoring the fastest Under-19 ODI fifty. He achieved this marvelous feat at the tender age of 19. Since then, he went on to play for the Delhi Daredevils and became the fourth-youngest man to score a first-class triple-century. His fearless and big power hitting earned a spot in team india, but he failed to perform remarkably as he had taken too much risk and that didn’t pay off at the right time. People started talking about his irresponsible stroke playing at a crucial time and the belief got cemented with his flop performance in IPL2020.
It was heartbreaking for him when he was dropped from the limited-overs sides for the Australia Tour and even not included in the first Test against Australia. He even found himself oversized for the tour of Australia.
However, he recovered well, demolished all perception and emerged as a real champion. Pant’s was a journey of perseverance, blood, sweat, and tears and here we tried to unravel the making of Rishabh Pant
Evolution of Pant’s Game
Pant’s journey is very commendable and inspirational. He was termed as the riot act when he arrived in Australia overweight. He then worked hard day and night, according to his coach. His performance reinstated him in the team after what followed at Adelaide Oval. After this hiccup, Pant never looked back. He has produced three innings that changed the course of a test. When the team was in a debacle, Pant’s skills helped them see light. Not a lot of players’s careers witness this level of contribution.
Working on his game, he has mastered being a keeper when he was standing up to the spinners. His spirits uplift the team and enhances their confident approach to the game. Pant’s nostalgia for Delhi adds to his charism and his spirit. His positive view on his game is also a big contributor to his success.
Pant sheds baggage to gain knowledge
Indian Cricketer Ravi Shastri while commenting on Pant’s hard work said, “When you are young and don’t carry baggage, you’re not afraid. It’s only when the baggage comes, when you become a known quantity and the pressures from the outside come in that you have to perform all the time, that’s when life starts.” He said Pant’s visible results are due to his hard work. He even stated that the wicketkeeper-batsman has worked harder and consistently than anyone else on the team.
Adding on to Pant’s transformation, he says, “When you add the runs, the match-winning efforts, the keeping improving and the hard work he’s put in – like I mentioned earlier, he was told in no uncertain terms that this game demands respect. You’ve got to respect the game much more than what you do – and which he did. He addressed it. He’s reaping the rewards now. Outstanding. Simply outstanding”
Pant’s game continually evolved as he won accolades and began to rise with sheer determination and hard work.
The Audacious and Valorous tale of Rishabh Pant
Pant has had quite an audacious past despite becoming a household nature. The season dominance started from a Friday afternoon in Ahmedabad witnessed the clash between Anderson with figures of 17-11-19-2 and Pant who smoked his opponent over mid-off by running down the pitch and finishing with his back leg in the flamingo position. In the next ball, even before Anderson could release the ball, Pant took a massive stride with a length that was short of good length. The fact that he was in no position to play the ball was perhaps the worry of other batsmen.
For the audacious Pant, the ball was an opportunity to wallop through cover point. When Anderson started the next over, Pant was batting on 89. The whole crowd anticipated some restraint considering his last eight Test innings had included two dismissals in the 90s, and an unbeaten match winning 89 against Australia in their home ground. This did not deter Pant as he reverse-swept Anderson from the line of the stumps as he fell away to the leg side. While all this took place, the ball flew over to the leaping first slip fielder.
It is exactly these qualities that has led to Pant being India’s poster boy.
Rise to becoming India’s Poster Boy
A portion of Pant’s success can also be said to be fostered by his homeland- India. With ample experience, almost nothing scared Pant. Each game played reflected aggression balanced beautifully with caution. This is truly a mark of a great sportsperson. He adopted a simplistic approach that consisted of “see the ball and hit it”. However, the simplicity works in his favour as it has always given him an opportunity to score.
His rise through the ranks has also been aided through the IPL. The Indian Premier League has always been a platform for Indian players to be exposed to international thinking and training. Perhaps this has led to Pant being a consistent master of the game.
Master of consistency
While Pant has wooed the crowd with his edge-of-the seat shots, he is more than that. Pant has used his consistency to average upwards of 60 in the last two series he played. He crushed Australia in their home ground and persevered against world No. 1 Test Team England in India. He has steadily grown through strong bowling attacks in mostly blower friendly conditions. He is now unmatchable and has beaten and thrashed attacks of players like Anderson, Broad Cummins, Scratch, Pattinson and hordes of other players who are seasoned experts at their game . His fans got well acquainted with his style through the tour of Australia and the series against England. His every move is ruled by logic. Thus, it comes as no surprise that he finds the way to deal with the ball turning and jumping out of the rough is to try and hit it for six. When he does this repeatedly, he shows results. He has even managed to do this with long-on and deep midwicket back and with India miles away from saving the follow-on. This is the result of his productivity and potential.
A Teamplayer to Marvel At
While Pant is a player to not be trifled with on his own, he is even a marvellous teamplayer.
When he walked into bat in the second against Australia, his quick runs completely shifted the momentum, tipping the balance towards India. He helped to draw the Sydney Test.
He even managed to do the unthinkable by winning India the Brisbane Test match while batting with lower middle order. This just goes to show Pant is both a lone horse and a marvellous teamplayer.
When Sundar and Pant came together against England, history was made. With India trailing by 59, it was difficult to detect the tone of their partnership. Pant was on strike and he faced seven balls in those five overs. This gave Sundar the opportunity to get his eye in against England’s two least threatening bowlers Bess and Root.
When Leach returned to attack, there were 67 overs on the ball. By the time, a tired Stokes returned with five overs to go for the new ball, India’s deficit was down to nine runs. Sundar was batting on 24, and Pant on 55, off 90 balls. By this time the next 28 balls would fetch Pant 46 runs to complete his century as well as dominance of India with sundar.
Pant’s Views on his game
While his team is nothing short of praises for Pant, this is what the Indian cricket player has to say about his journey, Commenting on his IPL performance, Pant adds“Delhi is where I grew up, and where my IPL journey began 6 years ago. To lead this team one day is a dream I have always harboured. And today as that dream comes true, I feel humbled”
Pant’s canderous approach and honesty both about his game and towards other players has always managed to reel his fans in. His unique swagger is what makes him Rishabh Pant!
By the age of 23, Rishabh Pant had experienced the highs and lows of cricket. His consistent nature and perseverance, after a roller-coaster ride of initial success as well as failure, has gained him a permanent place in his fan’s hearts all over the country. From the heroic under-19 matches, his stint of out of form in the IPL and then match saving and winning performance in the recent Test Matches and One dayers, Pant has truly seen it all. The master of all shots is here to stay!