Why Inzamam-ul-Haq feels Rishabh Pant is like Viv Richards

Rishabh Pant has made a roaring return to the Indian setup
Rishabh Pant has made a roaring return to the Indian setup

Inzamam-ul-Haq heaped praise on Rishabh Pant, claiming the young wicket-keeper made all the difference during the India vs England series. The former Pakistan cricketer compared Rishabh Pant’s impact to the one West Indian icon Viv Richards had during the 1970s.

Rishabh Pant wrapped up a memorable few months in international cricket with a match-winning performance in the final ODI against England. The youngster made a comeback to India's white-ball side against England, after being dropped from the team last year.

Inzamam-ul-Haq gushed over Rishabh Pant’s performances, discussing the player’s contribution on his YouTube channel.

"Earlier in the 70’s era, Vivian Richards used to be the difference between West Indies and any other side. Similarly, Pant was the difference between India and England."

Rishabh Pant made his comeback to the Test team after India’s disastrous showing in Adelaide. The 23-year-old has gone from strength to strength since then, with Rishabh Pant playing a match-winning role in India's series win Down Under.

He ended as India’s top run-getter in Australia, and Inzamam-ul-Haq was in awe of how Rishabh Pant handled the pressure.

"What a player he is. After a long time, I’ve seen such a player who plays much better than you think of a player how he should be. I’ve been following him since the India tour of Australia. He doesn’t seem like playing under pressure."

Rishabh Pant’s mercurial performances in the middle-order were one of the main reasons why India won the Test series 2-1, and Inzamam-ul-Haq lauded the youngster’s fearless batting style.

“Even in Australia, when all the seniors were out with injuries, his effortless batting at the middle-order made it look as if India haven’t lost any wicket or they aren’t playing on Australian soil. Earlier, players used to struggle while playing Down Under but Pant is not bothered at all.”

Inzamam-ul-Haq praises Rishabh Pant’s 3rd ODI knock

The former cricketer also touched upon Rishabh Pant’s electric performance during the series decider in Pune. The youngster notched up his highest ODI score of 78, top-scoring for India as they put up 329 on the board.

With Rishabh Pant scoring at a strike rate of 125.81, Inzamam-ul-Haq applauded him for his quickfire effort.

"It wasn’t an easy wicket to score against spinners as we all saw Virat Kohli getting bowled by Moeen Ali. But Pant once again played a fine knock and scored 74 runs (78*) in 62 balls, at a strike rate of more than 100. No other batter has a strike rate of more than 100."

Rishabh Pant interestingly came in ahead of KL Rahul, as India tried to keep the left-right combination going. Inzamam-ul-Haq also praised Virat Kohli for having the presence of mind to push Rishabh Pant up the order.

"It was a smart move by Virat that he promoted Pant up the order. India lost three senior players – Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli, and the pressure was mounted on India. But Pant played an important role in releasing the pressure."

Rishabh Pant has joined the Delhi Capitals camp ahead of IPL 2021. After an outstanding few months in international cricket, the wicket-keeper will target a successful campaign with the franchise this year.

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Edited by Sankalp Srivastava
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