Rishabh Pant could have denied Mumbai Indians (MI) a record fifth-time title in the IPL 2020, however, that was not the case in the end. And on the similar lines, Pant’s untimely dismissal changed the course of the match reckons former cricketer and commentator Aakash Chopra.
Mumbai Indians are hailed as one of the best T20 sides in the world after winning the IPL title for a record-extending fifth time. However, former Indian opener Aakash Chopra said IPL 2020 could have had a new champion had dashing wicket-keeper Rishabh Pant stayed in the middle a little longer.
Rishabh Pant’s Dismissal Turning Point Of Match: Aakash Chopra
Aakash Chopra pointed out that Rishabh Pant’s dismissal during the Delhi Capitals innings was the turning point of the match.
“Rishabh Pant’s dismissal was the turning point of the match because there was a very good partnership going on. Where you were 22/3 and from there you had put together a 96-run stand,” Chopra said in his YouTube channel.
Delhi Capitals were reduced to 22 for 3 after Marcus Stoinis, Ajinkya Rahane and Shikhar Dhawan went back cheaply. It was Rishabh Pant and Shreyas Iyer’s partnership of 96 runs for the 4th wicket that brought DC back into the game.
But just when the wicketkeeper-batsman was looking menacing and set for the big one, he mistimed a pull shot to be dismissed for 56 of 38 balls which included 4 boundaries and 2 sixes.
“And till the time Rishabh Pant was there, he had struck two boundaries in that over and if he had played more, then he would have taken the score to 175-180 or even 190,” Chopra said.
He was dismissed when Delhi were 118 in the 15th over, and Delhi could manage only 156 adding only 38 runs in last 5 overs. Shreyas Iyer scored 65 off 50 balls, but Shimron Hetmyer and Axar Patel failed to capitalize as Trent Boult took 3 wickets.
Rishabh Pant’s Batted Well After Long Time: Aakash Chopra
Aakash Chopra added that Rishabh Pant was slowly getting back to his destructive best. He could not score a single fifty in IPL 2020 before the final and ended IPL on 343 runs averaging 31.18 at a below-par strike rate of 113.95.
“He was batting very well after a long time. I had even said that Rishabh Pant had left his destructive self in immigration. So that destructive Rishabh Pant was taken back from the customs and brought into this final match.
“When he plays like this, we come to know why he is the X-factor. And I am a huge fan of him and I like it when he does well,” Aakash Chopra said.
“The time he got out, I think that was the turning point. The runs had already come in that over and if he played the slower bouncer a little cautiously and had not tried to hit another boundary, then probably this match might have taken a different course and the IPL might have got a new champion.”
After his dismissal, Delhi did not get the required runs briskly and ended their innings on 156/7. Mumbai Indians chased down the target in 18.4 overs with five wickets remaining.