He is considered to be one of the most promising faces in Indian Cricket. Rishabh Pant, in an interview with CricketSoccer, opens up his mind about his aim in IPL, his playing style, and everything.
Here are the excerpts:
CricketSoccer: Your 16 ball 38 couldn’t win the match vs KKR last time. Does it make you more determined this time?
Rishabh Pant: Yes obviously I am more determined this time. In fact, every match is a new match for me. I don’t like to hang around the past. What has happened has happened. We tried to beat KKR in our home ground at Firoz Shah Kotla, but couldn’t. We will give our hundred percent this time also and try to win against KKR at Eden Gardens.
CS: Losing three matches on a trot, how difficult has it become to make the play off from here?
Pant: We take one match at a time and that is the strategy of Delhi Daredevils, you may say. Yes, we lost three matches on a trot but we can not change the past. What we can is to do better in the upcoming matches.
CS: How would you rate the KKR bowling attack? Whom do you think to be the most challenging among them?
Pant: KKR has a very strong bowling unit. They have quality pacers as well as world class spinners. They are a very balanced side as far as bowling strength is concerned. But this is how Cricket is being played. One team must win and the other one will lose. I would not rate anyone among the opposition special. We have to face the entire group, not any particular individual.
CS: In terms of strike rate, you are among the top. How do you approach in a T-20 match? Is it same like a days match?
Pant: It depends on the situation. If I am going to bat after 15 overs, I have to play my shots. If I am going to play after 10 overs, I have more time then to settle down. But my aim is to play my normal aggressive cricket in every format and attack the bowlers whenever there is a chance.
CS: You had a splendid domestic season. How did it help you in terms of confidence?
Pant: Obviously when you score in the domestic season, you will feel more confident. Why only domestic cricket, you feel confident if you score runs in anywhere in the world. That’s what happened to me. I have scored a good number of runs this year and want to continue that in IPL too.
CS: The pitch at Eden Gardens is aiding stroke play this year. So will it make your job a bit easy?
Pant: I haven’t seen the Eden wicket yet. Once the match starts, we will have a clearer picture of how the 22 yards is going to behave. We will make our strategy accordingly.
CS: Apart from batting, you look confident with your keeping gloves too. What did you do to improve your keeping skill?
Pant: I never understand why there is so much talk about my keeping ability. It is the media which criticized me for my keeping and now it is again the media which is saying that I have improved as a wicketkeeper. So the best answer to your question could be given by the media persons only.
CS: You are being considered as a future replacement for Mahendra Singh Dhoni in the national team. Does this type of comparison make your job difficult or does it fuel you to do better?
Pant: To get inspiration and to feel under pressure- these two are completely different thing. I don’t think much about this. My duty is to perform well and I am focused to do that only. People may compare me to whoever they think. On my part, I would only say that Mahi Bhai is a legend. What he has achieved as a cricketer and as a captain has set an example before us. Nobody can be compared to Mahi Bhai. It will be very unfair to him.
CS: As Champions Trophy knocking at the door, how important is this year’s IPL to you?
Pant: To me, every IPL is important. I am in the initial stage of my career. So I will give my hundred percent in every match.
CS: Finally, you had a very tough time off the field a few days back. After that tragedy, how difficult was it to take the field? How important has it become to you to make your father’s dream come true?
Pant: I don’t want to talk about this matter anymore. Only one thing I would like to say, what has happened in my life recently has made me a stronger and more mature a personality.