IPL: A superhero comeback : The Tribune India

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IPL: A superhero comeback

Start of second innings for Pant as DC visit Punjab Kings’ new turf

IPL: A superhero comeback

Delhi’s captain Rishabh Pant bats at nets. Tribune photo: Vicky



Tribune News Service

Deepankar Sharda

Mohali, March 22

Having got a second chance in life and in cricket, Rishabh Pant wants to make every moment special. As the Delhi Capitals take on Punjab Kings in the teams’ opening match of the new IPL season at the Mullanpur stadium tomorrow, all eyes will be on Pant who is making a comeback after a long rehab following a horrific car crash in December 2022.

Rishabh Pant with Punjab’s Shikhar Dhawan on the eve of the game.Tribune photo: Vicky

Pant knows how lucky he is to be back on the cricket field — and he is enjoying his time in the spotlight. While on most occasions, it is that fans who request cricketers for autographs or pictures, today it was Pant who approached some of the workers giving the final touches to the new stadium and asked if they wanted a picture with him. Pant then also obliged the local media fraternity with pictures.

15 Overall, Delhi have won 15 of the 32 matches they have played against Punjab, but in the last two years, they have won five of six

We should deal with the pressure moments well and hopefully we’ll come up on the right side more times than not. Liam Livingstone, PBKS batter

Jittery, nervous, excited... all at the same time. I am just happy with this comeback. I took my time to recover and missed some important moments. I’m just looking forward to the first game tomorrow. Rishabh Pant, DC captain

“I trust it’s your prayers that I am able to sit here. It was a long journey, but I am ready now,” said Pant, who will be playing his first competitive game in nearly 15 months. “Jittery, nervous, excited... all at the same time. I am just happy with this comeback. I took my time to recover and missed some important moments. I’m just looking forward to the first game tomorrow,” he added.

Pant knows that it will take some time to get back to his best and he wants to take one day at a time.

“Obviously, it will be fun to play with my teammates and I will try to give a 100 per cent on the field. Every time I take the field, it’s a different feeling altogether. I think, as a batter, I wish to bat as long as I can. My muscle memory is intact and it will be better to stay at the crease for a longer period of time. I haven’t played for nearly a year-and-half, but the ground looks good for a comeback,” he said.

“I just want to be here in the moment. I don’t think too much ahead. I take one day at a time. I am starting love this game more and more,” he added.

Even as he gets ready to make his comeback, Pant will have the extra pressure of captaincy. Pant though said that his team’s approach will be as simple as possible. “Most of the conversations are pretty simple. We just want to go out there, have fun, not complicate things and give our best in all the games,” he said.

Livingstone ready for DC’s explosiveness

Up against the explosive batting of Delhi Capitals, Punjab Kings’ Liam Livingstone said that the team’s attack is ready to face any batting line-up in the tournament. The Capitals have a potent batting line-up as David Warner, who recently retired from Test cricket, will be hoping to make a mark along with Prithvi Shaw, Mitchell Marsh, Rishabh Pant and Tristan Stubbs. Punjab will be relying on their key pacer Arshdeep Singh, who was one of last year’s best performers, along with Harpreet Brar and all-rounder Livingstone. Playing for the first time at their new home ground, the Kings will also look to try to forget the past. After finishing sixth for four consecutive seasons between 2019 and 2022, the Kings dropped to eighth in 2023 and will look to turn things around this time. “We did a lot of good things last season. We were in the running for a playoff spot until the last couple of games,” said Livingstone. “We’ve got a really good squad and the team environment is great. We should deal with the pressure moments well and hopefully we’ll come up on the right side more times than not,” he added.

About The Author

The Tribune News Service brings you the latest news, analysis and insights from the region, India and around the world. Follow the Tribune News Service for a wide-ranging coverage of events as they unfold, with perspective and clarity.

#Cricket #IPL #Mohali #Punjab Kings #Rishabh Pant


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