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Rishabh Pant: A maverick who needs to use his full potential

Rishabh Pant is one of the most attacking batters in modern-day cricket as he has the ability to take the game away from the opposition. However, is Rishabh Pant really using the best of his abilities to do well in this season of the Indian Premier League as his team struggles in the tournament?

The Indian Premier League is in its 15th edition of the tournament this year and from the traditional 8-team event, it has now become a ten-team spectacle making it more exciting for the fans and tougher for the teams. The tournament has a rich legacy as a great legend like Shane Warne led a young Rajasthan Royals to win the inaugural edition of the IPL which will be forever etched in everyone’s memory. After Rajasthan Royals won the tournament, the IPL’s brand value started shooting up as more and more people started watching the Indian Premier League. It became a platform that made young cricketers realise that cricket can be a full-time career even if they don’t get to play for the country.

IPL made parents understand that their child could do well and have a career in cricket even if they get to play the IPL. This encouraged many young and budding cricketers to concentrate more on their game and aim to make a name for themselves. The big names like MS DhoniGautam Gambhir and Rohit Sharma are still considered as the greatest when it comes to IPL captains as they have won the IL trophy multiple times. But, a young skipper who has the potential to do well for the country is yet to make an impact and win the coveted IPL title. 

When you think of young captains one such name that comes to everyone’s mind is Rishabh Pant. The young left-handed wicket-keeper batter has an aura that draws you to watch the game. When the left-handed batter comes out to bat, people are glued to their television sets or these days their mobile phones watch the game online. They know as long as Rishabh is at the crease they can expect some fireworks as he can change the complexion of the game single-handedly. 

The young wicket-keeper batter if simply put is a maverick. He does his own thing and while many might not agree with his methods but on the day that he gets it right there is really no one like him. Pant has the ability to win matches in the most difficult situations. Rishabh’s career was on the decline till the tour of Australia came. The left-handed batter played some unbelievable innings to show the world what he is really capable of and to put in simple words: Everyone loved what he did there. 

People talk about how Rishabh Pant has matured over the years but is he really giving it his all?

I ask this because the Rishabh Pant that we have seen has the ability to change the game and so far in IPL 2022 he has not played a match-winning inning. Yes, he has shown glimpses of his brilliance as he has taken the bowling apart on occasions and has even threatened to take the game away from his opponents. But has he been able to really take his team across the finish line? The answer is no. 

Being the captain of the Delhi Capitals the franchise has shown immense faith in Rishabh Pant. Pant was preferred over Shreyas Iyer by the Delhi-based franchise for the skippers’ role even after Shreyas had led the Delhi team to the finals in 2020. Yes, the following year Shreyas was injured and Rishabh was given the captaincy. But, even after Iyer returned they persisted with Rishabh Pant. The reason behind it is because Delhi Capitals management felt that he is the guy who is a future star and can do wonders with the team.

But, Rishabh Pant has not done well as a batter this year so far in the IPL. Pant made his debut in the cash-rich league back in 2016. He lit up the IPL in 2018 when he scored 684 runs and averaged 52.61 with a massive strike rate of 173.60. That is the Rishabh Pant that took the cricketing world by storm.

The left-handed batter needs to be reminded that his batting can dictate the outcomes of the games that he plays. Rishabh Pant can give bowlers nightmares that is the kind of potential he has. Pant the captain seems to calculate a lot and it shows in his batting. At times it seems like he doesn’t trust the other batters on his side and tries to curb his game as he feels it is his responsibility to win games for his team. 

In my opinion, if Pant allows himself to once again be the free-flowing batter that he is and just believes in himself it will do wonders to his game. That kind of batting will help him and the team gain the momentum that they need in the last few games that remain for them as they still will be hoping to qualify for the playoffs this season. 

Many former greats believe in Rishabh Pant’s ability and he is a once-in-a-lifetime kind of a cricketer who entertains audiences around the world. The IPL is a stage where Pant has a chance to showcase his skills and it is time for him to go all guns blazing against his opponents in the upcoming games to power his way to the playoffs of the IPL 2022. If Pant manages to do that then every team that reaches the playoffs will be very worried in crunch games against the Delhi Capitals even though they might have a poker face when they talk about the young Delhi Capitals skipper.

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