Rishabh Pant: The Dynamic Wicket-keeper & Batsman of Indian Cricket

Rishabh Pant

Rishabh Rajendra Pant is an Indian international cricketer. He plays for the Indian cricket team as a wicket-keeper batter. He has played all formats for India, he is best known for his consistency to score runs in Test cricket. Pant plays for Delhi in domestic cricket.

He is the captain of Delhi Capitals in the Indian Premier League. He was the vice-captain of the India U-19 team that was runner up at the 2016 Under-19 Cricket World Cup.

In January 2017, Rishabh made his Twenty20 International (T20I) debut for India. He made his Test debut in August 2018, and his One Day International (ODI) debut in October 2018. In January 2019, he was named the ICC Men’s Emerging Cricketer of the Year at the 2018 ICC Awards.

In February 2021, Rishabh Pant was named the Men’s Player of the Month in the first edition of the ICC Player of the Month Awards.

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Rishabh Pant was named as the Indian captain for the T20I series against South Africa, after the designated captain KL Rahul was ruled of the series due to an injury in June 2022.

Early and personal life of Rishabh Pant

Rishabh Pant was born on 4 October 1997 in Roorkee, Uttarakhand, India. He was born to Rajendra Pant and Saroj Pant. At the age of 12, Pant used to travel with his mother to Delhi during the weekends to train with Tarak Sinha at the Sonnet Cricket Academy.

He along with his mother stayed at a Gurdwara in Moti Bagh as they did not have suitable accommodation in the city.

His coach, Sinha suggested Pant switch to Rajasthan to play U-13 and U-15 cricket but to no avail. He was instructed by his mentor to overhaul his entire batting technique in the hopes of becoming a better batsman.

Rishabh Pant had top-scored with 35 in his first innings and then hit 150 in the second innings, which he claims was the most important knock in his career, that was the turning point for his career.

On 1 February 2016, during the 2016 Under-19 Cricket World Cup, Pant hit fifty against Nepal in 18 balls, the fastest at this level. Rishabh’s father died in April 2017, due to a cardiac arrest.

Domestic career

On 22nd October 2015, Pant made his first-class debut in the 2015–16 Ranji Trophy and his List A debut the next month in the 2015–16 Vijay Hazare Trophy.

In the 2016–17 Ranji Trophy, Pant scored 308 runs in an innings, becoming the third-youngest Indian to score a triple century in first-class cricket.

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On 8 November 2016, he scored the fastest century in the Ranji Trophy from just 48 balls in Delhi’s match against Jharkhand.

In February 2017, Pant was named Delhi’s captain for the 2016–17 Vijay Hazare Trophy. He took over from Gautam Gambhir, who led Delhi to the final of the previous season.

Indian Premier League

Rishabh Pant was purchased by the Delhi Daredevils before the 2016 Indian Premier League on the same day he scored a century for India U-19 team in the 2016 Under-19 Cricket World Cup, guiding them into the semi-finals.

Rishabh Pant made 69 runs off 40 balls to help Delhi secure an eight-wicket victory over Gujarat Lions. In the 2017 season, he scored 97 runs from 43 balls against the same team.

During the 2018 Indian Premier League, Rishabh Pant scored an unbeaten 128 from 63 balls against the Sunrisers Hyderabad. That was the then highest individual score by an Indian cricketer in IPL history.

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He also became the second youngest player to score a century in the IPL. In March 2021, Pant was named the captain of the Delhi Capitals for the 2021 Indian Premier League after the regular captain Shreyas Iyer was ruled out of the entire tournament due to an injury.

International career

In January 2017, Rishabh Pant was named in India’s Twenty20 International (T20I) squad for their series against England. He made his debut for India in the third T20I against England at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bangalore on 1 February 2017. Pant was the youngest player to debut for India in a T20I match at the age of 19 years 120 days.

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In February 2018, he was named in India’s T20I squad for the 2018 Nidahas Trophy. In July 2018, Pant was named in India’s Test squad for the series against England. On 18th August 2018, he made his Test debut against England on 18 August 2018.

Rishabh Pant became the first batter for India to get off the mark in Test cricket with a six in the series. Later in the following month, he was named in India’s One Day International (ODI) squad for their series against the West Indies. On 21st October 2018, he made his ODI debut for India against the West Indies.

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In December 2018, during the first Test against Australia, he took eleven catches, the most by a wicket-keeper for India in a Test match. In January 2019, during the fourth Test against Australia, he became the first wicket-keeper for India to score a century in a Test match in Australia.

In June 2019, Rishabh Pant was called up to India’s squad at the 2019 Cricket World Cup as a replacement for Shikhar Dhawan. As Shikhar was suffering from a hairline fracture of his left thumb during India’s game against Australia. Following the World Cup, the International Cricket Council (ICC) named Pant as the rising star of the squad.

In September 2019, during the second Test against the West Indies, Pant became the fastest wicket-keeper for India to affect fifty dismissals in Test cricket.

In January 2021, during the fourth Test against Australia, he became the fastest wicket-keeper for India to reach 1,000 runs in Test cricket.

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India was bowled out for 36 in the second innings of the first Test of the Border Gavaskar Trophy 2020–21 and hence lost the test by 8 wickets despite getting a healthy first-innings lead. Following this, Rishabh Pant was picked ahead of Wriddhiman Saha for the second test in Melbourne.

In September 2021, Rishabh Pant was named in India’s squad for the 2021 ICC Men’s T20 World Cup. At the annual ICC Awards in January 2022, Pant was named in ICC Men’s Test Team of the Year for 2021.

In March 2022, during the second match against Sri Lanka, he scored the fastest half-century by a batter for India in a Test match, breaking the record previously held by Kapil Dev.

In May 2022, Rishabh Pant was named as the vice-captain of the Indian team for the South Africa tour of India 2022 series. However, one day before the first match of the series, Pant was named as the captain, after India’s captain KL Rahul was ruled of the series out due to an injury.

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At the age of 24 years and 248 days, Rishabh Pant became the second-youngest captain to lead India in a T20I match. In July 2022, in the final match of India’s tour of England, Pant recorded his maiden century in ODI cricket scoring 125 runs and remaining not out.

2022 Car Crash

On 30th December 2022, Rishabh Pant was involved in a near-fatal car crash on the Delhi-Dehradun highway near Roorkee. He was cleared of any serious injury and remained stable despite sustaining injuries to his head, back and feet including two cuts on his forehead and a ligament tear to his right knee.

He also hurt his right wrist, ankle and toe and suffered abrasion injuries to his back. Rishabh Pant was reportedly driving his Mercedes SUV car from Roorkee to New Delhi. He was the only person inside the vehicle, according to eye-witnesses.

The car reportedly caught fire when it collided with a central divider on the road. The incident was reported to have taken place at 5.30am and the car skidded for about 200 metres before hitting the road divider. Some sources claimed that Pant may have fallen asleep while driving.

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He was rescued by Sushil Kumar, a bus driver, and Paramjeet Singh, a bus conductor, both employees of Haryana Roadways. His injuries would keep him out until his return to competitive cricket in the 2024 Indian Premier League.

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