Rishabh Pant might have just put one foot in the plane for England ahead of the ICC World Cup after his swashbuckling knock against Mumbai Indians at the Wankhede stadium on Sunday.
Pant singlehandedly blew away Mumbai scoring 78 runs off 27 balls as Delhi beat the hosts by 37 runs to start their IPL 2019 campaign on a high.
Pant smashed 7 sixes and as many boundaries during his knock to help Delhi post a mammoth 213 for 6 on the board. The DC bowlers then restricted Mumbai to 176 with Ishant Sharma and Kagiso Rabada finishing with two wickets each.
Apart from Pant, DC opener Shikhar Dhawan (43 off 36) and Colin Ingram (47 off 32) also made valuable contributions in the top order.
“It’s been a great journey, I’m trying to learn every day of my cricketing career. It feels good when your team wins. I always play according to the situation most of the time.
“This time I needed to increase the run rate for the team, and I took my chances, and it came off today. Especially in T20, you have to do something different. When the bowler cramps you for room, you need to make your own room,” Rishabh Pant said after bagging the man-of-the-match award.
Pant had brought up his fifty off just 18 balls which is the fastest by a batsman against Mumbai Indians in the IPL. He beat MS Dhoni’s previous record of scoring a fifty off 20 balls against MI team in 2012.
Rishabh Pant’s place in the Indian World Cup squad is still not finalised but this knock may have just assured his seat on the plane to England.
Pant was particularly brutal on his India teammate Hardik Pandya, whom he hammered for two sixes and a four in the 16th over to start the destruction and then spared none. He struck two sixes and a four off debutant Rasikh Salam in the 19th over. He didn’t even spare death overs specialist Jasprit Bumrah.
Even opposition team captain Rohit Sharma conceded that his team was blown away by Rishabh Pant.
“We were in the game in the first 10 over while bowling but the way Rishabh batted we have to give the credit to him,” Rohit Sharma said after the match.