New Delhi, May 9: Talented young India batsman Rishabh Pant displayed his impeccable hitting abilities to propel Delhi Capitals in the Qualifier 2 of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2019.
The 21-year-old Delhi swashbuckler played a blistering knock of 21-ball 49 to help Delhi Capitals beat Sunrisers Hyderabad by 2 wickets in a nail-biting Eliminator at Visakhapatnam Stadium.
Pant's brutal hittings included five massive sixes as the southpaw virtually snatched the match away from the Sunrisers' hands. He thwarted young Basil Thampi for 22 runs in the 18th over and turned the tides in his team's favour for at that stage the match was in Hyderabad's control.
Pant once again showed how dangerous a batsman he's turning out to be in the limited-overs format. Watching the youngster's pyrotechnics on a pitch where batting looked tough, the cricketing fraternity was in awe of his knock.
Many wondered why the left-handed top-order batsman was not included in India's ODI squad of the upcoming ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 in England. Pant has played just 5 ODIs for India but experts feel that he could be the X-factor for Men In Blue in the marquee event.
Former England captain Michael Vaughan has been staunch supporters of Pant's inclusion in India's World Cup squad and the cricketer-turned-commentator said it isn't too late for the Indian selectors to consider the 21-year-old in the WC squad.
"How is @RishabPant777 not in the World Cup squad ...... Pretty sure #India still have time to change ........ !!!!! #Bonkers #IPL19," tweeted Vaughan.
Not just Vaughan, former India cricketer and part of India's 1983 WC winning squad, Kris Srikanth, too came out in support of Pant for WC.
The former India captain took to his Twitter handle and ran out a poll asking which youngster could be their choice for WC 2019.
"Whom do you think should replace Kedhar Yadav if he is ruled out of the world cup! Come on let's hear it from you guys I am going with the 4th as of now 🤔 #WorldCup2019. Pant - the match winner. Gill - the next rockstar. Iyer the potential superstar."
Whom do you think should replace Kedhar Yadav if he is ruled out of the world cup! Come on let's hear it from you guys I am going with the 4th as of now 🤔 #WorldCup2019— Kris Srikkanth (@KrisSrikkanth) May 8, 2019
Veteran commentator Ayaz Memon took to his Twitter handle and praised Pant for his match-winning knock against Sunrisers in the Eliminator but rued the fact that the youngster didn't get the ticket to England.
Pant’s virtually snatched the match away from #SRH in one over with brutal hitting. Alas, he’s not going to Englanf— Cricketwallah (@cricketwallah) May 8, 2019
Former India wicketkeeper Deedas Gupta too opined that Pant should be given more practices so that he can learn to finish games.
Agreed Rishabh can be frustrating at times but have to be patient with him. Finishing is mostly learnt on the job. Most finishers at the top level are predominantly top order batsmen in domestic cricket.— Deep Dasgupta (@DeepDasgupta7) May 8, 2019
Huge Rishabh Pant fan....and also understand that if you live by the sword, you die by the sword too. But it won’t be a bad idea to start finishing off games after bringing the team so close. Crossing the finish line is a tough thing in sport.... #DCvSRH #IPL— Aakash Chopra (@cricketaakash) May 8, 2019
Am firmly now in the Rishabh Pant fan club.— Sanjay Manjrekar (@sanjaymanjrekar) May 8, 2019