Pant puts behind personal loss to win hearts

Pant puts behind personal loss to win hearts

Adversity brings the best out of an individual. Rishabh Pant, India’s fast rising wicketkeeper-batsman, was fighting a lot of demons inside his mind when he stepped out to bat against the Royal Challengers Bangalore here on Saturday.

To return to the field just two days after his father’s demise and play an innings that almost took the Delhi Daredevils over the line showed the youngster’s fortitude.

Putting behind a huge personal tragedy, Pant’s revealed his inner strength and earned appreciation from all quarters. Walking into bat with his team at 55/3 in 7.3 overs in pursuit of 158, Pant played in his trademark aggressive manner and the southpaw remained Delhi’s hope even as wickets kept tumbling at the other end. Pant was dismissed with Delhi needing 19 runs of five balls and the walk back to the pavillion was understandably laborious. Though the finish to his courageous innings wasn’t fitting, Pant’s effort won many hearts.

“Yeah look I mean... geez I was telling the boys, if my dad passed away I would be on the first plane out of here,” said Daredevils’ all-rounder Chris Morris at the post match press conference here. “Have to be very honest. It's about what my dad means to me. It takes a big person to come a couple of days after your father’s death and play. He said his dad would have wanted him playing. It shows his character. He’s going to be a big player for India in the future.”

Cricket in the past has produced heart-warming stories of players stepping up on the big stage following huge personal losses. Both Sachin Tendulkar and Virat Kohli, two popular cricketing icons, have played defining knocks for their respective teams following similar incidents and Pant’s innings was no less special.

“He is a special talent. I said to the boys on the bench that it would be nice to see him hit it big tonight, much before he faced his first ball. Every couple of years, a special guy comes along and he’s one of them,” Morris noted.

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