Season 2016/17 was the first ever complete Indian domestic season played by Rishabh Pant.
He made sounds right from the start, as he was the fourth highest run-scorer in the tournament compiling 972 runs at an average of 81.00. This also included 49 sixes, a triple century against Maharashtra and also the fastest ever century in the history of Ranji Trophy against Jharkhand.
His belligerent show in the multi-day tournament earned him a place in India’s T20I team and also in India A side. He continued his performance in the IPL which has now seen him making a place in the list of reserved players for the ICC Champions Trophy 2017.
Already, the 19-year-old player has been labelled as the next big thing in Indian cricket and not just his fans, but cricketing legends like Sachin Tendulkar are also in all awe of the youngster, as Tendulkar, the icon of Mumbai Indians, praised the youngster and called him a wonderful player to watch.
He also labelled Rishabh as a combination of Yuvraj Singh and Suresh Raina, on the basis of his batting style as he said,
“He is a special talent. To me, he looks like a combination of Yuvraj Singh and Suresh Raina – the setup and the bat swing. Wonderful to watch. Yes, it’s never easy to have a tragedy in your family and then turn up and focus on the game (on Rishabh’s bereavement on the eve of IPL). I can understand what he must have gone through because the same happened with me in the 1999 World Cup. It takes the time to overcome and is a loss that’s irreparable. Full marks to Rishabh and his family; in these times, you need your family’s support.”
Tendulkar was one of the personalities who heaped praises on Pant after his brilliant innings of 97 against Gujarat Lions, where he missed the century but won everyone’s hearts.
Pant is surely a player to watch out for and the biggest advantage is that he has is age by his side, as he is yet to turn 20 and within one year of an Under-19 World Cup, he has already drawn a lot of attention and praise.
Further, on being asked on youngsters in IPL, the Master Blaster named Nitish Rana, Basil Thampi and Mohammed Siraj as the players who have stood out this year and said,
“Nitish Rana from our team has done really well. Batted brilliantly in the first half of the tournament. Have been watching Thampi and Siraj. Bumrah has been around for a while and performing consistently well. Tripathi has a beautiful bat swing and a cover drive of his the other day reminded me of Viru!”