International sports' highly competitive nature can often cause players to be insecure and selfish about their own success over the team’s which makes sacrifices an endearing sight. Rishabh Pant won hearts on Thursday after he obliged Hardik Pandya by giving up his wicket during India’s death overs.
India, despite seeming to struggle to get to even 140 at one stage, ended up with a commendable total of 168/6 at the end of their 20 overs. The explosion was largely orchestrated by a brilliant blitzkrieg by Hardik Pandya in the death overs as the all-rounder ended up high-scoring for the team with 63 off just 33 deliveries.
Initially provided support by Virat Kohli, Pandya was later joined by Rishabh Pant at the other end who was playing only his second game of the tournament. The wicket-keeper had a golden opportunity to cement his place in the team for the final should India win against England but an incident in the last over highlighted Pant’s dedication to the team’s cause and his selfless instincts even in the most pressure-filled situations.
On strike against Chris Jordan, the 24-year-old failed to get away a wide yorker as the ball hurtled on into Jos Buttler’s gloves. Dazed for a moment, Pant did not realize Pandya was charging towards the striker’s end seeking to play the final three deliveries and propel India to a better score with his hitting. By the time Pant became aware of the situation, there was no way he could have made it back to the other end on time. Nevertheless, urged by a passionate Pandya, Pant simply chose to sacrifice himself without much ado and was comfortably run-out by Jordan.
While walking off, Pant managed to endear the crowd with a wry smile and a thumbs-up gesture for his batting partner, aware the team needed the maverick to be on-strike during the fag end of the innings. Twitterati were quick to recognize Pant’s selflessness and took to social media to praise his team spirit.
All is well
A thumbs up by Rishabh Pant to Hardik Pandya. pic.twitter.com/o1fVRR7Me8— Mufaddal Vohra (@mufaddal_vohra) November 10, 2022
Proud of you Rishabh pant ❤️ pic.twitter.com/FwKF6MjndY— Rishabh pant fans club (@rishabpantclub) November 10, 2022
me to rishabh pant pic.twitter.com/wqxGXGayCS— Diaa (@JoshiDiya_) November 10, 2022
thank you rishabh pant pic.twitter.com/mA6kJdR0dw— gordon (@gordonramashray) November 10, 2022
He did for good
Rishabh Pant, you sacrificed your wicket for good today. 👏— Aditya (@Adityakrsaha) November 10, 2022
me to rishabh pant pic.twitter.com/XH8NEggJm2— vipin (@djfrankkie) November 10, 2022