Delhi Capitals skipper Rishabh Pant admitted that he has a golden opportunity lying ahead of him and asserted that he will try his level best to lead Delhi to their maiden IPL title. Pant, whose first game as skipper will be against Dhoni, insisted that he will try ‘something different’ versus CSK.
Rishabh Pant endured a tough IPL 2020 but since then, everything the youngster has touched has turned into gold. First, he led India to a famous Test series win in Australia through his heroics with the bat and then, against England, the 23-year-old not only made heads turn with his batting but also displayed immaculate wicket-keeping skills to make jaws drop. He then followed these performances up with a fine showing in the limited-over matches versus England, but the ultimate good news came Pant’s way later as an injury to Shreyas Iyer led Delhi Capitals to name the southpaw the franchise captain for the 2021 edition.
Pant has never led an IPL franchise in the past, but the 23-year-old is ready to embrace the opportunity lying ahead of him. In his first interview as captain, the southpaw asserted that he will try his ‘level best’ to ensure that the Capitals are crowned IPL champions for the first time in their history.
"...I am looking forward to making most of this opportunity. We haven't won a title yet and I will try my level best to get a title this year. We've been playing nicely as a team for the last two-three years and our preparations are going on well," Pant told the DC website, reported TOI.
"Everyone looks in a great frame of mind. Everyone is giving their 100 percent and is happy in the team environment, and that's what you want as a Captain.”
The last 6 months have seen Pant emerge out of MS Dhoni’s shadow, and almost poetically it’ll be the veteran who will be the 22-year-old’s first opponent in the IPL. Pant claimed that it’ll be an exciting prospect to go up against Dhoni and insisted that he will try to put the knowledge he has to use in order to outwit CSK.
"My first match as captain will be against Mahi (MS Dhoni) bhai. It will be a good experience for me as I have learned a lot from him. I have my own experience as a player as well.
"I'll apply my own experience and the learnings from MS Dhoni, and try to do something different against CSK," Pant said.
One person who has been integral in Pant’s development has been DC’s head coach Ricky Ponting, who has seen the youngster transform from a boy into a man. Pant stated that Ponting has had an ‘amazing’ influence in the Delhi-based side and revealed that the former Aussie skipper brings an incredible amount of energy to the team.
"He brings energy to the team and as a player when you see your coach and you're thinking this is the man from whom you can learn a lot, then nothing is better than that. Hopefully, we will cross the line this year, with the help of Ricky and the whole team."
Delhi will kick-start their IPL 2021 campaign versus Chennai Super Kings at the Wankhede Stadium on Saturday, April 10.