Ever since he has been dumped out of the World Cup squad, Rishabh Pant has found massive support from former cricketers and pundits. In the match against Rajasthan Royals, the young wicket-keeper batsman showed exactly why he has been viewed as a possible X-factor in India's World Cup squad.
The young man took guard against Rajasthan Royals and grabbed the match by its horns and proceeded to plunder 78 runs off 36 balls and led his side over the line. In the post-match press-conference, he was asked about the selection snub and the young man conceded that this kept playing on in his mind. DC are now number 1 on the points table.
"I am feeling lovely. To make your team win in an important match is a good feeling. I won't lie, the selection thought was running in my mind," Pant said at the post-match press conference.
'Focussed on my process and it worked'
"I focussed on my process and it worked for me. The wicket was playing good, and I just took advantage of that, I guess. Most important thing for our team is that everyone knows our role, and the support staff tells us, 'this is your role, and this is what is going to happen to you," he was quick to add.
Pant, who has played a couple of cameos this season, has drawn criticism for playing reckless strokes in crunch situations. However, even though he smoked six fours and four sixes in this innings, he was quite measured and identified moments where he could pull the plug.
"Ricky (Ponting) tells us that batsman who gets start should bat for a long time. Rishabh took that initiative and batted till the end. In the previous match, I was there till the end and Shikhar did it too in one match," Delhi Capitals captain said at the end of the match.
Delhi Capitals coach Ricky Ponting said after the match that he believed the Indian selectors had made a mistake by not including Pant in their squad as he could have been the X-factor in the side.
"I know how disappointed he was to miss out on the World Cup. In my opinion as well, I think India made the wrong choice there. I think he would have been absolutely devastating in English conditions through those middle over against spinners," Ponting told the host broadcasters after the match.
Ponting also believed that a batsman like Pant liked pace on the ball and hence, could have been lethal on English pitches which have true pace and bounce on offer.