Published By: Nibandh Vinod
Last Updated: October 04, 2023, 06:10 IST
HAPPY BIRTHDAY RISHABH PANT: Rishabh Pant is just 26 but the Indian wicketkeeper has already had to face enough ups and downs in his career so far. Pant hogged the limelight as a teenager who smashed a blistering 18-ball fifty against Nepal in the 2016 ICC U-19 World Cup. The knock helped Pant to be drafted into the Indian Premier League (IPL) auction in the same year. He was eventually signed by Delhi Daredevils (now Delhi Capitals). Pant did not take much time to earn a maiden India call-up. He made his international debut in a T20I game against England in February 2017 and played his first ODI and Test in the following year.
As Rishabh Pant celebrates his 26th birthday today, we take a look at his incredible cricketing journey.
Born in Roorkee, Uttarakhand, Rishabh Pant developed his interest in cricket at a tender age. His family relocated to Delhi in search of a good training facility for Pant. He began his initial training under coach Tarak Sinha at the Sonnet Cricket Academy.
During his initial days, Rishabh Pant used to play district-level U-14 and U-16 tournaments in Rajasthan. Pant returned to Delhi and made his first-class debut in the Ranji Trophy at the age of 18. His breakthrough knock came against Maharashtra in 2015 when he smashed a triple hundred to set several domestic records. In the following season, Pant scored a blistering century off just 48 balls against Jharkhand, establishing his name as a promising talent in the Indian domestic circuit.
Rishabh Pant has featured in 57 First-Class matches throughout his career. He has racked up 4,123 runs at an average of 48.5. He has also featured in 66 List-A matches, accumulating 1783 runs including two centuries and 11 half-centuries.
Expectations were quite high when Rishabh Pant first appeared in the IPL in 2016. The southpaw did justice to his reputation. He represented Delhi Daredevils in 10 matches and got 198 runs under his belt. Pant was appointed as the captain of the side in 2021 after designated skipper Shreyas Iyer was ruled out due to injury issues. The franchise bestowed the leadership responsibility on Pant permanently in the subsequent season. In 98 IPL matches, Pant has so far scored 2838 runs at a strike rate of 147.97.
Rishabh Pant was recognised to be a limited-over specialist when he made his debut for Team India. However, with time, Pant proved his calibre in Tests and went on to become a reliable option in India’s middle order. His first Test century came during the 2018 tour of England and till now, the 26-year-old has breached the three-digit mark five times having played 33 red-ball matches.
Pant’s most enthralling knock, probably, came during the famous Gabba Test against Australia in 2021. He pulled off a stunning 89-run knock off 138 balls on the final day, helping India chase down a seemingly impossible target of 328 runs. Pant has donned the Team India jersey in 30 ODIs and 66 T20Is till now, accumulating 865 and 987 runs respectively.
Rishabh Pant encountered a shattering experience in December last year after facing a car crash on his way to Roorkee. The mishap took place on the Narsan border near Hammadpur Jhal. Due to the gruesome road accident, the cricketer sustained several injuries on his forehead and leg. As a result, Pant failed to feature in this year’s IPL. He also missed out on several big tournaments for the Indian cricket team.
10 Facts, Records and Achievements
- Pant is the first and only wicketkeeper-batter from Asia to notch up Test centuries in both Australia and England. Previously, no Indian wicketkeeper could score even one Test century in SENA countries (South Africa, England, New Zealand and Australia)
- After Irfan Pathan and Cheteshwar Pujara, Rishabh Pant became only the third Indian player to claim the ICC Emerging Player Award in 2018
- Pant scored the fastest hundred as an Indian player in the shortest format during the 2017-18 Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy. He required only 32 balls to complete his century
- Eclipsing legend MS Dhoni’s record, Rishabh Pant became the fastest Indian wicketkeeper to record 50 dismissals in Test cricket during a series against West Indies in 2019
- Pant jointly holds the record of completing the most catches by a wicketkeeper in a single Test match. He took 11 catches against Australia in 2018, joining England’s Jack Russel and South Africa’s AB de Villiers
- The left-handed batter aggregated 274 runs in four Tests during India’s historic 2-1 series win in Australia in 2021.
- During the 2017 IPL, Pant smashed a blistering 97 off 43 balls to help his team Delhi Capitals record their highest-successful run chase of 209 runs
- Pant is currently the highest run-getter for the Delhi franchise with 2838 IPL runs under his belt
- Pant was the fifth youngest IPL captain when he first time took over Delhi’s leadership charge two years back.
- The Delhi Capitals captain is the only Indian cricketer to score 100 runs only with boundaries and sixes. He achieved the feat during a 128-run knock against Sunrisers Hyderabad