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Rishabh Pant’s mobility will give him and Team India great encouragement: Kevin Pietersen

Pant’s catch ( PHOTO SOURCE : JIO CINEMA )

The Delhi Capitals seemed to have got their IPL 2024 season back on track with a thumping victory by six wickets and a whole 67 deliveries to spare, after cleaning up the hosts (GT) for their lowest IPL total (89). Every bowler other than left-arm wrist-spinner Kuldeep Yadav claimed at least a wicket for themselves, with Yadav being the joint-most economical bowler of the match with Ishant Sharma. Quickfire cameos from four of DC’s batters (all of them scoring in the 15-20 range)  granted them quite a comprehensive victory, boosting their net run rate significantly.

However, the standout performer in the match was the skipper of DC, Rishabh Pant. Not only did Pant deliver with a prompt 16 off 11 in the run-chase, he contributed with exemplary glovework as well, holding onto a remarkable diving catch to his left to dismiss Miller, as well as a reverse-cup to send GT’s top-scorer Rashid Khan packing. He also pulled off two stumpings in a single over and was adjudged the Player of the Match, mainly for his display behind the stumps.

Speaking on Star Sports Cricket Live, former English cricketer Kevin Pietersen, who represented DC (then DD) from 2012 to 2014, was thoroughly impressed by Pant’s athleticism, stating that it’ll give both Pant and the Indian team renewed confidence ahead of the T20 World Cup to take place in June this year. Notably, quite a few reports which have surfaced over the past few weeks have hinted as Pant being the frontrunner for the wicketkeeping slot for the Indian team. Pietersen also mentioned that getting valuable game time under the belt would be advantageous for Pant, especially after coming back from a horrific injury.

“His mobility was something that will give him great encouragement, which will also encourage Team India. Of course, he needs game time, as everyone does when coming back from an injury. He’s returning from a horrific injury, so game time is crucial for him. To prepare for the T20 World Cup, he should play these 14–15 IPL games because it’s significant leading into a T20 World Cup. If he plays that much cricket, he will be ready,” Pietersen said on Star Sports Cricket Live.

And that’s exactly what Delhi did, they buried GT in the powerplay: Pietersen on DC bowlers

Pietersen was particularly impressed with how Pant went about marshaling his troops and his usage of his pacers. The English cricketer liked the fact that, unlike other captains, Pant persisted with his new-ball bowlers who dismantled GT in the powerplay itself, effecting four wickets inside the first six.

“Yeah, the first three bowlers actually bowled beautifully this evening and the way that Rishabh Pant marshalled his troops was exceptional because you want to see one bowler bowling one over and another bowling another. They keep changing with five or six bowlers bowling in the first powerplay whereas Rishabh Pant said no, I am going to back my strike bowlers and I’m going to back the guys that are doing well for me, they are very good with the new ball and I want them to really bury GT,” Pietersen added.

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