Rishabh Pant is a wicketkeeper-batsman from Delhi and has been an important member of the Indian national cricket team in the past three years. Pant's career has been marked by ebbs and flows but the passage of time has made him a far better player than what he was at the start of his cricketing journey at the highest level. The southpaw rose to fame with his heroics in the 2016 U-19 World Cup in Bangladesh and never looked back since then. At the biennial event, Pant scored 267 runs across 6 innings at an average of 44.50. What impressed the most was his strike rate of 104.30, the highest among the top 10 run-getters in the tournament.
Rishabh Pant's debut in IPL and international cricket:
Pant was mere 18 by that time when the then Delhi Daredevils (now Delhi Capitals) put their trust upon the youngster and paid a whopping sum of 1.9 crore to rope in him in their squad ahead of IPL 2016. The southpaw managed a good performance that season as he scored 198 runs across 10 matches at an average of 130.26. In the same year, Pant scored the fastest century in Ranji Trophy by reaching the milestone in just 48 balls against Jharkhand.
The following year saw Pant making his international debut, however, the memorable occasion got limited to just 3 balls. It was a T20I match against New Zealand and other Indian batsmen consumed the rest of the balls to see Pant return to the dugout with an unbeaten 5 off 3 balls. Months after the game, the 10th edition of IPL kicked off and Pant had a mediocre season at the big stage, scoring at an average of 26.14. However, his strike rate of 165.61 grabbed the eyeballs, speaking a lot about his hitting ability.
Pant announced himself at the mega event in the 11th edition of the tournament. He amassed 684 runs across 14 matches at an average of 52.61, and this time the strike-rate became better and reached to 173.60. He hit 5 half-centuries and a sensational 128 not out off 63 balls against Sunrisers Hyderabad. Though Delhi lost the match by 9 wickets, Pant had already shown everyone what he was capable of doing and how disastrous he could be on his day.
Rishabh Pant's Test career:
The same year (2018) saw Pant making his Test debut for India in August. In the game he registered scores of 24 and 1. The most memorable sight of his debut was a youngster dancing down the track only on the second ball of his Test career and hitting it clean over the straight boundary for a six. The audacity was evident, the power and class were on display, however, the determination still needed time to grow. And what could be a better teacher than Test cricket for a lesson of grit and patience, and Pant had just joined the class in his own style. The following three innings saw him score 0, 18 and 15, but before people could doubt Pant's ability to perform in the red-ball cricket, the southpaw showed his potential with the bat and became the first Indian wicketkeeper to score a Test century in England. He scored 114 runs, an innings that was laced with 15 fours and 4 sixes. After England, India toured Australia and Pant kept breaking records there as well. He scored unbeaten 159 in first innings of the 4th Test at Sydney Cricket Ground to become the first Indian wicketkeeper to score a century in the format against Australia Down Under.
International cricket was not that easy for Pant as he was always compared to MS Dhoni – one of the best wicketkeepers world has ever seen. Pant’s batting style and keeping technique got scrutinised time and again. But with the passage of time, everything in him improved to make him an even better cricketer and his heroics this year at the Sydney Cricket Ground and The Gabba has been a testimony of his prowess.
Rishabh Pant's domestic career:
Pant's childhood coach in Delhi, Tarak Sinha, had advised him to shift to Rajasthan for better opportunities in cricket. The southpaw obliged his coach and went on to represent Rajasthan at U-14 and U-16 levels. Things didn't go well for Pant in the follow-up and he had to move back to Delhi after he got discriminated on being an outsider and was eventually thrown out of the academy. Pant represented Delhi at multiple age-level matches and made his debut for team Delhi in 2015. Notably, when Pant was playing for India-A, team’s coach Rahul Dravid helped a lot in grooming himself.
Rishabh Pant's Life and Family:
Rishabh Rajendra Pant was born on born on 4 October 1997 in Haridwar, Uttarakhand. He did his schooling at The Indian Public School, Dehradun before moving to Sri Venkateswara College, Delhi University. Notably, Pant relocated from Uttarakhand to Delhi at the age of 12 to get advance level of coaching.
Rishabh Pant belongs to a Kumauni Brahmin family. His father was Rajendra Pant and mother is Saroj Pant. Rishabh has an elder sister named Sakshi Pant.
Rishabh Pant's records:
- He has scored fastest half-century in the U-19 World Cup (2016) by reaching the milestone in just 18 balls. He scored 78 off 24 balls in the innings
- In November 2016, Pant scored the fastest century (in 48 balls) in the Ranji Trophy, against Jharkhand
- Only Indian wicketkeeper to score a Test century each in Australia and England
- First Indian batsman and the 12th overall player to score a six as the first shot on Test debut (2018)