It’s early days for Rishabh Pant and he has already been anointed as the one to replace Mahendra Singh Dhoni in the Indians Cricket Team. This is a big statement to make but people who said this obviously know they’re saying, and Rishabh Pant is surely destined for bigger things. We have no doubts about that. He has already amassed 141 off 5 games at an average of little over 28 and a tremendous strike-rate of 167.85. More than the number of runs he has made, it’s the way he has got them is what has got everyone excited about him. He has looked remarkably cool under pressure and has looked reassuringly comfortable against top-notch bowling.
Rishabh Pant will surely elevate himself soon, no doubt about that. However, what is of immediate concern for the southpaw is Delhi Daredevils’s IPL 20 campaign, which has sort of gone off track after a great start, mostly because of combination issues. The Daredevils will face Mumbai Indians later in the evening at Wankhede and Delhi’s record at Wankhede isn’t too encouraging.
Delhi’s players have been in great touch. Shreyas Iyer has hit a purple patch at the exact time. Sanju Samson has been brilliant. Even Karun Nair, who had a pretty ordinary tournament so far scored in the last game and looks to be back in touch. Rishabh Pant, getting over his personal tragedy, has scored important runs in almost every game and has looked rock solid. Sam Billings has played a couple of good knocks too. In spite of all this, Delhi hasn’t been able to crack it up. As a result of this, in spite of individual brilliance, the Daredevils now have only two wins out of eight. They came tantalisingly close to winning two of the three they have lost, all thanks to Pant.
While Zaheer Khan’s Captaincy has been inspiring and remarkable, Delhi need to sort out their combination. For example, DD could do themselves a world of good by asking the in-form wicket-keeper batsman to open the innings along with Samson. Not that Samson / Billings haven’t been among runs. Samson has scored prolifically too. However, the matter of fact is that Samson is someone who takes a bit of time to settle down and goes for his shots only after he’s a good twenty-five balls old. In the IPL, you got to have a player who can take advantage of the powerplay. MI have Parthiv / Butler, SRH have Warner; KKR first had Lynn; and now Narine. Point is, you have to have someone at one end like Samson, and someone at the other end who can pick as much as advantage as he can during the powerplay. And with the tremendous form Pant is in, he can definitely be a good choice to open along with Samson. Apart from being a formidable pair, the two will also form a good right/left combination, something no bowler likes to bowl to, especially in the fast-paced T20. For someone like Rishabh, the kind of form he is in, it’ll be a great opportunity to showcase his skills and give Delhi the early advantage they desperately need.