IPL 2024: Rishabh Pant returns to lead Delhi Capitals

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New Delhi: The player who orchestrated the downfall and busted open the gates of the Gabba fortress, a player who is known for his sheer striking skills in white-ball cricket – Rishabh Pant – is just a couple of hours away from returning to the field of cricket for the first time in 14 months.

A life-threatening accident in December 2022 forced Pant to serve time on the sidelines keeping him away from the game he “loves the most”. Pant will lead Delhi Capitals for the first time since IPL 2022, against Punjab Kings at the Maharaja Yadavindra Singh International Cricket Stadium, in Mohali on Saturday.

Fans who have been waiting for Pant’s return for more than a year will finally get to witness the spectacle that the 26-year-old has often produced in his career. After missing out on the on-field action for so long, for Pant, it would be like making his cricketing debut again.

He has been providing updates on his fitness to fans through social media since he began his rehabilitation. In the pre-match press conference, while addressing the media persons, Pant spoke at length about his feelings about making a comeback to professional cricket after 14 months.

“Jittery, nervous, excited- all of it, but at the same time, just happy, being able to come back to professional cricket. I’m just looking forward to playing my first game tomorrow,” Pant expressed. “Every time I take the field, it’s a different feeling altogether. I just wanted to bat as much as I could and get better every day. I don’t think much ahead, I take one day at a time, and give my 100 per cent,” he added while talking about Delhi Capitals’ pre-season camp in Visakhapatnam.

Pant has represented DC since 2016 and has amassed 2,838 runs in 98 matches at an average of 34.61 and a strike rate of over 147, with a century and 15 fifties to his name. For India, Pant has 33 Test, 30 ODI and 66 T20I appearances to his name. In Test, the left-handed batter amassed 2271 runs at an average of 43.67 and a strike rate of 73.63. He has five tons and eleven half-centuries as well.

In the T20I format, Pant has 987 runs at a batting average of 22.43 and a strike rate of 126.37. He has yet to score a ton but has three fifties to his name. In ODIs, the wicketkeeper batter has 865 runs at an average of 34.60 and a strike rate of 106.65. Pant also has a century and five fifties in his kitty.

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