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"I can't imagine now an Indian side without Rishabh Pant" - Ian Bell

Rishabh Pant
Rishabh Pant
Modified 29 Mar 2021

Former England batsman Ian Bell believes Indian wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant has matured immensely during the course of the England series. According to Bell, it was incredible to watch a “real match-winner”.

Rishabh Pant had an excellent one-day series, with scores of 77 and 78 in the last two ODIs. He was not selected for the first match. Pant stood out in the Test series against England as well, with a game-changing hundred in the fourth Test in Ahmedabad.

Heaping praise on the 23-year-old southpaw, Bell said on ESPNCricinfo:

"I can't imagine now an Indian side without him in it. It just feels like it. He's the future around some world-class players.”
“We've seen a mature series and that's quite rare at the moment for seeing someone playing like that. I think it's a rare talent and this is just the start of him now having a successful career. Incredible to watch, a real match-winner," Bell further added.

In the second ODI against England, Rishabh Pant came in and hammered 77 in only 40 balls to help India set up a total of 336 for 6. Unfortunately, India couldn't defend the total.

This did not deter the left-hander, as he scored another brutal 78 from 62 in the decider, his highest ODI score till date. India went on to win the match by seven runs in a thrilling finish.

I saw a real calmness about Rishabh Pant: Ian Bell

According to Bell, Rishabh Pant’s calmness is what stood out about him. The former cricketer pointed out that, apart from going for the big strokes, Pant also rotated the strike very well. Bell pointed out:

"He's had a fantastic series, hasn't he? Across all three formats. I saw a real calmness about him today. It's not only high-risk, slogging or anything like that.”
"Also, he gets off strike and rotates it. So I imagine that those bowlers at the end of their mark are thinking that if they get it slightly wrong, Pant does hurt them. We've seen a maturity as this series has gone on. That Test match hundred again would have given him a lot of confidence," he added.

Rishabh Pant will now turn out for the Delhi Capitals in IPL 2021. The franchise, which finished runners-up last year, has been dealt a big blow.

Skipper Shreyas Iyer has been ruled out of this year’s edition due to a shoulder injury he suffered during the England ODIs.

Rishabh Pant is being seen among the front runners to take over the leadership role at DC for this IPL season.

Published 29 Mar 2021, 14:31 IST
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