It’s always special playing against Pakistan: Rishabh Pant
'There is a special hype around that match as always,' said Pant.
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India’s wicketkeeper-batter Rishabh Pant opened up about the upcoming T20 World Cup 2022 and said that he is excited to play the campaign opener against arch-rivals Pakistan on October 23, Sunday. He expressed his opinion on the India-Pakistan clash and said that he looks forward to getting a chance to play in the game.
When India and Pakistan clashed last year at the T20 World Cup, the Babar Azam-led side handed India a 10-wicket defeat. But since then many things have changed for the two teams. India is now under Rohit Sharma’s leadership, and the two sides have met twice this year, at the Asia Cup 2022 where both bagged a win each.
Pant is currently facing tough competition from Dinesh Karthik, the newly emerged finisher who made his comeback in the Indian setup. When India and Pakistan faced off in the T20 World Cup in Dubai last year, Pant got a taste of what it was like to play against their biggest competitor. One of the many cricketing rising stars of India, Pant stated there is nothing that compares to that emotion.
“It’s always special playing against Pakistan because there is a special hype around that match as always. There are so much emotions involved, not only for us but the fans and everyone. It’s a different kind of feeling, a different kind of ambiance when you go on to the field and when you take on the field, you see people cheering here and there. It’s a different atmosphere and when we were singing our national anthem, I actually get goosebumps,” Rishabh Pant told ICC.
Mohammad Rizwan and Babar Azam successfully chased down the 152-run target set by India, without losing any wicket in their group-stage match at the T20 World Cup last year, giving Pakistan a convincing 10-wicket victory. While many India players and spectators quickly forgot about the game, Pant still has great memories of it thanks to his 53-run partnership with the team's then-captain Virat Kohli and his quick-fire 39 which helped India get to a decent total.
“I fondly remember that I smacked Hasan Ali for two sixes in the same over. We were just trying to get the run rate up because we lost early wickets and we staged a partnership – me and Virat. We were increasing the run rate and I smacked him for two sixes with one hand... my special shot,” Pant added.
Kohli can actually teach you how to go through situations: Pant
The 25-year-old wishes to put up a better performance this time, and hopes to regenerate his partnership with the former India captain this time at the MCG, where the two teams lock horns on Sunday. Kohli has been in good form recently and will be the player to watch out for from the Indian setup.
“He (Kohli) can actually teach you how to go through situations, which might help you in your cricket journey going forward, so it is nice batting with him as always. It’s good to have someone with a lot of experience batting with you because he can take you through how to take the game on and how to maintain that run-a-ball pressure kind of thing,” Pant concluded.