IPL 2024: Pant can do those things that most Indian wicket-keeper batters can’t do, says Sanjay Manjrekar

New Delhi: Former India cricketer Sanjay Manjrekar believes Rishabh Pant can do those things that most Indian wicket-keeper batters can’t do and that’s why he should be in the T20 World Cup squad.

Pant, after being scratchy in his 44 against Sunrisers Hyderabad, was at his magnificent best in hitting eight sixes and five fours at a strike rate of 204.6 against Gujarat Titans on Wednesday night. His inning of 88 in 43 deliveries propelled DC to 224 for 4 against DC.

DC were reeling on 44 for 3 when Pant joined hands with Axar Patel and both batters added 113 runs in 68 deliveries.

“The only reason why we are debating that is because of the option that we have. There is a Sanju Samson as an option and KL Rahul, two very exciting one but the thing about Rishabh Pant and that is why I will back him all the time in the 15, in the playing 11 as well Come the big stage, Semi-final of T20 World Cup. This is a guy who will get you a hundred in 60 balls and win the game,” said Sanjay Manjrekar on Star Sports Cricket Live.

“Now that is something not too many In the Indian team will do it. We’ve seen the Indian team come into the final rounds and not quite deliver in the big matches Rishabh Pant is temperamentally just in a different kind of space where you know that kind of stage, platform Just allows him to flourish more. He just relaxes in that kind of a situation,” he added.

It was Pant’s highest score of the 2024 IPL season as he has already amassed 342 runs in nine matches including three half-centuries with an average of 48.86. His blistering 88 not-out knock has favoured the star batter in the fight for a wicketkeeper batter slot in the T20 World Cup.

Another former India cricketer Deep Dasgupta was confident of Pant’s inclusion in the playing XI and said, “He’s there in my playing 11. Before today, I think we had this chat before the game as well And I said without a shadow of doubt Rishabh Pant walks into my playing 11.”

“The only doubt before the IPL started was his fitness level after whatever happened a year and a half ago. What kind of physical state is he in and if he’s fit which he is, he’s better than fit. Actually, you know what I was having a chat with him. He’s actually lost six kilos in the last four or five months and he’s been working really hard. So yeah, let’s talk about Rishabh Pant. I mean he’s fitter, he’s quicker, he’s batting better. Without a shadow of doubt. I think that is not even a debate as far as I’m concerned. 15, Yes, he’s there,” he added.

The ICC’s submission deadline on May 1 allows participating teams to tweak their initial selections until May 25.


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