The curious case of Rishabh Pant
Rishabh Pant [Source: Associated Press]
Rishabh Pant is no stranger to Indian cricket. Full of clamour and courage. He is like the uncle at the family gathering that steals all the attention with his tricks. He is the life of the party. He is the kind of person that people make way for when he is walking up to the club. The crease is his dance floor and the outrageous shots are his dance moves.
Pant entered the Indian cricket scene in 2017 in a T20I against England. Ever since, the wicket-keeping batter has played the saviour's role in more than a handful matches.
Pant doing what he does best
Unique in every sense of the word, the world had never seen someone bat the way he does. His batting style being: chain kuli ki main kuli *swings bat*.
No one knows how he does what he does. Stumbling about the crease but always hitting the ball right where he wants to. He dons the personality of someone who would never be taken seriously but someone who would always be feared.
Rishabh is the best in Tests
When you imagine a batter like Pant, you would naturally see them excelling in the T20I format. But this is where things get peculiar for Rishabh.
The batter has a total of 2123 runs in his Test career, at one point in his career in early 2022 he had scored the most runs among Indian batters in Test format. He was ahead of Cheteshwar Pujara, Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli.
The most spectacular thing about Rishabh Pant is that he always shines when others fail to ignite. He's become the go-to man for India in Tests. You know what they say "as long as you're making runs, no one cares about what the shots looks like".
The way Pant bats in Test cricket goes against everything Test cricket stands for! Is it the dynamics of the format? Is it the pressure? What is it that makes Pant untouchable in Tests but unable to cement his place in T20Is?
Will it be scandalous to compare him to Sehwag?
There's something in his eyes that is familiar, fearlessness. We've seen it before, in the eyes of Virender Sehwag. When we look at the two, their careers and their stats, there is an uncanny resemblance.
- Test: Pant - 43.32 | Sehwag - 49.34
- ODIs: Pant - 36.52 | Sehwag - 35.05
- T20Is: Pant - 23.09 | Sehwag - 21.88
The two batters walked onto the field with roaring intent, hit big knocks and played with a blazing strike rate. But one peculiar similarity is how they both aced in Test cricket when their batting, on paper, is textbook T20 batting.
What is it about the two that makes them excel in Test but average in T20s?
Once in a lifetime
Rishabh Pant is the phrase "go big or go home" personified. He is the cricketer that comes once in a generation, the mentality that Pant walks in on the field with is unprecedented. There's no doubt that there is genius behind madness, a genius that cannot be tamed.
We may never be able to solve the mysteries of what goes on in his mind and that is the curious case of Rishabh Pant.