‘India have done well without him…’: Hussain on ‘blockbuster’ Pant’s future | Cricket

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Rishabh Pant’s return is one of several things that fans are looking forward to in the 2024 season of the Indian Premier League (IPL). The star wicketkeeper batter, who is captain of the the Delhi Capitals in the IPL, last made a competitive appearance in December 2022 when India played their second Test in Bangladesh.

Rishabh Pant during Delhi Capitals' practice camp(PTI)
Rishabh Pant during Delhi Capitals’ practice camp(PTI)

He met with a car accident later in the month and missed the entirety of 2023 as he recovered from his injuries. Former England captain Nasser Hussain has stated that the whole world has been awaiting his return.

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“That was such a serious accident. The whole world held its breath and it has been a slow recovery,” Hussain is quoted as saying by the ICC. Hussain said that he had seen former Australia captain and commentator Ricky Ponting, who is head coach of DC, keeping a track on Pant.

“You follow on social media, on my phone and the initial first walking steps to then scenes in the gym and then scenes of him playing a bit of cricket, scenes of him with Ricky (Ponting). I travelled with Ricky in the summer in the Ashes, and Ricky was texting him ‘how’s the progress coming along’, and he is a box office cricketer,” said Hussain.

‘India lucky to have Rahul and Pant’

England have been at the receiving end of some of Pant’s best innings, particularly in Test cricket, in which he has scored 781 runs in 12 innings against them with three centuries and four half-centuries. KL Rahul has been India’s primary wicketkeeper in Pant’s absence but despite his exceptional performances, the latter is expected to be among the first names in the team sheet whenever he is available for selection. Pant has been especially crucial to India’s cause in Test cricket, scoring 2271 runs in 33 matches at an average of 43.67 with five centuries and 11 half-centuries. His aggressive style of batting from lower down the order has led to Pant being at the centre of some of India’s most famous victories in the format since he made his debut in August 2018.

“India have done well without him (Pant) as KL has come in and been brilliant in all formats,” Hussain noted. “They’ll continue to be brilliant. They’re lucky to have both of them, but Rishabh Pant, before his injury, was box office, and hopefully after his injury, will be box office as well.”

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