T20 World Cup: Rishabh Pant Could Be Key To India's Hopes In Super Eights

(MENAFN- Khaleej Times) Published: Mon 17 Jun 2024, 4:11 PM

With the Super Eights stage of the T20 World Cup all set to begin on Wednesday, India pacer Ishant Sharma believes dynamic batter Rishabh Pant could play a key role for the Indian team.

Pant returned to international cricket after sustaining injuries in a life-threatening accident in December 2022.

He found his usual groove while leading the Delhi Capitals in the Indian Premier League. His consistency and composure helped him rack up 446 runs in 13 matches at an average of 40.55.

He brought his consistency to the ongoing T20 World Cup. It became evident in India's campaign opener against Ireland when he effortlessly reversed scoop the length delivery to clear the fence over the head of the wicketkeeper.

He has amassed 96 runs at an average of 48.00 and a strike rate of 124.67 in three matches on what was a difficult pitch in New York.

Ishant, who played under Pant's captaincy in the IPL 2024 and closely monitored the left-hander's progress, feels the best is yet to come from the 'world-class' player.

"The player whom I eagerly want to see is Rishabh Pant. He has been scoring runs consistently on the pitches that assisted bowlers more than batsmen. Having spent time with him in IPL playing for Delhi Capitals, he is a world-class player, and I am sure that his best is yet to come." said Ishant Sharma on the 'Caught & Bold' show on Disney+ Hotstar.

Before the start of the tournament, many former stars backed India to reach the semifinal. With their unbeaten start in the tournament, some fans believe that the Rohit Sharma-led side could go all the way to the final.

India had a lot of positive takeaways from their performances in the US. Skipper Rohit Sharma slammed a fifty, Suryakumar Yadav and Shivam Dube found their form while Arshdeep Singh stepped up with the ball, especially in the powerplay.

Ishant feels that the bench strength that allows India to cover all fronts of the game sets them apart from the previous editions' squad.

"What sets this Indian team apart from the previous editions is that this time, we have all bases covered with different players contributing in each game. In the first game, Rohit Sharma scored a half-century, Suryakumar Yadav regained his form against the USA with a scintillating 50, Arshdeep Singh also picked crucial four wickets and not forgetting Rishabh Pant, who is consistently scoring 30s and 40s," he said.

"Different players contributing in different games provide stability and balance to the team. Moving ahead in the tournament, this will surely help them," he added.

In the first three games, India named a pace-laden line-up that suited the quick bowlers. Due to this, the spin duo of Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal were confined on the sidelines.

In the West Indies, they could play a key role as spinners have had a more prominent role than the pacer. The co-hosts, West Indies, handed Akeal Hosein to bowl the first over of the powerplay, which further signified the importance of spinners.

India will play their first game of the Super 8 against Afghanistan on Thursday at Kensington Oval Barbados.

Super Eights:

Group A

Afghanistan, Australia, Bangladesh, India

Group B

England, South Africa, USA, West Indies

* Top two teams from each group will qualify for the semifinals.

Super Eights schedule:

UAE Time

June 19

South Africa vs USA

6:30 pm

June 20

West Indies vs England

4:30 am

Afghanistan vs India

6:30 pm

June 21

Australia vs Bangladesh

4:30 am

England vs South Africa

6:30 pm

June 22

West Indies vs USA

4:30 am

Bangladesh vs India

6:30 pm

June 23

Afghanistan vs Australia

4:30 am

England vs USA

6:30 pm

June 24

West Indies vs South Africa

4:30 am

Australia vs India

6:30 pm

June 25

Afghanistan vs Bangladesh

4:30 am

June 27

First semifinal

4:30 am

Second semifinal

6:30 pm

June 29


6:30 pm

* All Super Eights matches and the two semifinals and the final will be played in the West Indies


  • Pakistan's T20 World Cup failure down to poor batting, Babar says
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  • Pakistan end T20 World Cup campaign with three-wicket win over Ireland


Khaleej Times

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