In-form Delhi batsman Rishabh Pant has credited his experience of playing in the IPL before first-class cricket for his success in the competition. He said interacting with a lot of senior players and foreigners gave him a lot of confidence going into the future.
While talking to India Today, Pant said, “Good thing for me is that I played IPL before first class cricket. Interacting with a lot of senior Indian players, and also foreigners, gave me a lot of confidence. The transition from Under-19 to senior level was thus much smoother for me."
Pant also said that he is working a lot on his wicket-keeping and that he used to set himself targets without revealing them to anyone and would then go about and try to achieve it. He also vowed to perform well in the years to come.
“I always knew that after the Under-19 World Cup, this Ranji season would be very important for me. I prepared hard for it. I set goals for myself but never reveal it to anyone. Not even to my parents. I just want to achieve them first. I just want to work hard and focus on performing well. This season, next season and in the years to come. I have been really working hard on my wicketkeeping for a long time, really want to do well and focus on it just like my batting,” he added.
Recently, Pant created history by scoring the fastest first-class hundred by an Indian batsman. Talking about that record, Pant revealed that he wasn’t aware of the record and he wanted to break the record for most sixes in an innings (14) but fell one short of it. A similar incident happened when he was batting on 78 against Nepal in an under-19 World Cup match with the record for the fastest under-19 ton in his sights. When he tried going for the record, he lost his wicket.
"I didn't know about the record (fastest hundred). I just wanted to break the record for maximum sixes which was 14. But, I could hit only 13. It happens with me every time. In the Under-19 World Cup, I made a 23-ball 78 against Nepal. I wanted to make the fastest ton which was off 32 balls,“ said Pant.
“The moment I thought about it, I got out off the next ball. It happened this time as well. I could have scored the hundred in 42-43 balls too as I was batting on 96 then but told myself to be patient, take some time and eventually got it in 48 balls," Pant added.
Nicknamed “Chhota Gilli,” Pant is the leading run-scorer in this season’s Ranji Trophy. In the seven innings he has played, Pant has amassed 799 runs at an average and strike-rate of over 100.
The youngster also revealed that his only regret is not playing alongside Virender Sehwag. “I always used to watch Viru bhaiya playing. It was an absolute delight watching him bat. I wanted to bat alongside him but unfortunately the year I made my first-class debut, he left Delhi and started playing for Haryana. It feels good when people say that I play like him," he concluded.