Wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant powered Delhi Capitals (DC) to knock last season finalists, Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH), out of the IPL 2019 and move a step closer to the final with a tense two-wicket victory on Wednesday.
Pant smashed a quickfire 49 as DC chased down their target of 163 in 19.5 overs to win the Eliminator in Visakhapatnam. Following his blazing knock, veteran actor Rishi Kapoor could not help but ask Ravi Shastri and Virat Kohli – why Rishabh Pant has not been included in India’s 15-man squad for the 2019 World Cup.
— Rishi Kapoor (@chintskap) May 9, 2019
Also, former England skipper Michael Vaughan urged the Indian selectors to make the changes in the squad before the quadrennial event begins on May 30.
“How is @RishabPant777 not in the World Cup squad …… Pretty sure #India still have time to change …….. !!!!! #Bonkers #IPL19,” Vaughan wrote in his message.
— Michael Vaughan (@MichaelVaughan) May 8, 2019
Pant hit five massive sixes and two fours to put the Delhi chase back on track before falling in the penultimate over.
So far, the 21-year-old has amassed 450 runs from 15 matches at an average of 37.50 with three fifties in the ongoing IPL.
“If you are set on a wicket like this, you have to finish the match for your team. I took it very close, but next time I will finish it for the team,” the southpaw said after the match.
Reason for Rishabh Pant’s exclusion from the World Cup squad
Pant was snubbed as the Indian selection committee favoured experience over raw talent for the showpiece event. Explaining the reason behind Pant’s absence from the 15-man World Cup roster, chief selector MSK Prasad termed Dinesh Karthik’s wicket-keeping skills as the primary reason behind his inclusion.
“You can say that! The situation that was discussed among the selection committee is that one of them (Pant or Karthik) will play in the eleven only if MS (Dhoni) is injured. Under such situation, in crunch matches, who is the best guy who can handle the pressure. That is the reason which went in favour of Karthik, otherwise, Pant is full of talent, there is lot of time for him,” Prasad had said during a media interaction.
“It’s unfortunate that he (Pant) missed out,” he added. “If it is a crucial match, like a quarterfinal, semifinal, wicketkeeping also matters. That’s the reason why we went ahead with Karthik, otherwise, Pant was almost there. Under pressure, we have seen Karthik finishing matches. That scored for him.”