Rishabh Pant

Rishabh Pant’s stirring reply to ‘pure batter’ reports a warning to competitors for India’s T20 World Cup squad

Pant gave a stirring response to all the reports on social media by sharing a video of him in the midst of an intense wicketkeeping drill.

Rishabh Pant is all set to return to competitive cricket after that life-threatening car accident in December 2022, in the 2024 edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL). While the 26-year-old has so far shown an improvement even as he continues his rehabilitation at the National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru, reports have so far claimed that  Rishabh Pant, if he does make a return in IPL for Delhi Capitals, will only feature as a pure batter with the franchise to feature a separate wicketkeeper. However, Pant gave a stirring response to all the reports on social media by sharing a video of him in the midst of an intense wicketkeeping drill.

Earlier on Tuesday, Cricbuzz had reported that Pant played his first full match in a long time at the KSCA facility in Alur, Karnataka, where his showed no signs of discomfort during his active involvement in the match. It was a major positive sign both for Indian cricket and for Delhi Capitals. However, the report reiterated that Pant, who will take over the role of captaincy from David Warner, will only feature as a batter and not don the wicketkeeping gloves.

Hours later, Pant shared a video on his social media handle with the caption: “Progressing”, as it showed the youngster performing wicketkeeping drills. ESPNCricinfo later reported on Wednesday that it had been part of his lower-body conditioning over the last six weeks. The NCA staff has been careful in not burdening Pant and rather easing him slowly into high-intensity drills.

Rishabh Pant’s warning to India competitors for the T20 World Cup squad

Ever since the news broke on Pant’s possible return to action in IPL 2024, discussions began in whether an impressive show for Delhi could land him into the Indian team for the T20 World Cup. The accident in December 2022 already denied him a spot in the 2023 ODI World Cup team. Hence, if completely fit, Pant would be raring to go for that spot in the Indian team. In fact, former India captain Sunil Gavaskar had even stated that BCCI selectors should consider him even if he is fit on one leg.

However, if Pant returns solely as a batter, it is unlikely that Indian selectors would want to risk their existing combination in adding the left-hander irrespective of his form. But, if what the video shared by Pant stands true and that he is indeed able to keep wickets as well, a stellar campaign in IPL could directly hand him the ticket for USA, where India will be playing all their group games in the World Cup.

Pant will be vying for the most competitive spot in the Indian team with the likes of KL Rahul, Jitesh Sharma, Sanju Samson and Ishan Kishan also in fray for the World Cup team.

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