Rishabh Pant made a grand statement with a match-winning 78 off 36 deliveries to power Delhi Capitals to a six-wicket victory over Rajasthan Royals in match 40 of the Indian Premier League (IPL) on Monday. Ignored for the World Cup, Rishabh Pant said the “selection thought was running” in his mind. With a powerful knock, Pant has not only turned the heads of his fans and critics alike but also took his franchise Delhi Capitals on top of IPL points table with a thrilling win over Rajasthan.
“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.
The young keeper-batsman added, “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’.”
Pant, who was left out of India’s squad at the expense of Dinesh Karthik, smashed six fours and four sixes during his stay in the middle.
DC skipper Shreyas Iyer was happy with the way the pitch played, and so was his counterpart Steve Smith. “When we play away from home, the wickets are so good. We enjoy playing on the rise, and the wickets are perfectly made for them,” Iyer said.
“It was important to get a good start in the Powerplay, and Shikhar has been doing that well. The way we’ve been playing away games and coming back to our home games, we are unaware of how our pitch plays itself.”
DC fought back after Rajasthan looked to cross 200 at one stage.
“We knew they were going to go all out, especially the way Ajinkya was batting. This is a big ground, and the pitch was a belter. The way they started, we were expecting 200, but the bowlers did well to restrict them to 190,” Iyer said.
The win lifted Delhi to the top of the table with 11 victories and four defeats from 11 outings.
(With PTI Inputs)