IPL 2019: The Rishabh Pant's way of finishing

Rishabh Pant remained unbeaten on 78 off 36 balls against the Rajasthan Royals.

Rishabh Pant
Rishabh Pant. (Photo Source: Twitter)
Sampath Bandarupalli
Sampath Bandarupalli

Sr. Statistician

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One of the talking points in this IPL has been Rishabh Pant and his ability to finish matches for the Delhi Capitals. Pant has contributed to his team victories but he not staying till the very end has heavily been criticized by the experts. The Capitals has batted second on as many as seven instances this season but the 21-year-old Pant remained unbeaten only once. The concerns for the young keeper’s ability in finishing games could be justified to an extent.

However, it can’t be a real issue especially in the T20 format and moreover given the position he plays. Pant’s role is to score as quick runs as possible during his stay and bring down the pressure. He is often under the pressure of playing a risky game which usually ends in a similar sort of dismissal. Though the 21-year-old didn’t finish as many matches as people wanted, he has put the Capitals in a position better than what they were at the start of his innings.

Despite all the talks about Pant’s approach with the bat, his teammate and the current No.2 T20I batsman Colin Munro feels the youngest is on the right plane. “You look at Rishabh who just knows his game. Whether he is going in at No.4, 5, or 6, he’s gotta play the same way and its ok. We need such players in the T20 format to go out there and try to take the ball by the horns from the start and he showed that,” said Munro after their victory over SRH at the RGI Stadium in Hyderabad.


The Capitals were placed close to a victory in five out of six matches where Pant was dismissed in chases. The only game he and his team failed was against the Mumbai Indians on one of the toughest surfaces while chasing at a required run rate in excess of 10. MS Dhoni’s finishing skill and his percentage cricket have become a benchmark for every upcoming Indian keeper batting in the middle-order. However, the former Indian skipper’s way of dealing things at times puts pressure on future talents.

Dhoni is someone who picks his target bowlers and plays cautiously against the ones who poses him a threat while Pant takes on even the best in the opposition camp. The game in Mohali against Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) witnessed a turnaround after his dismissal. Pant came to the crease when DC needed 8.51 an over. Delhi scored 83/2 during his stay at the crease at an RR of 8.89. Pant scored a 26-ball 39 to bring down the RRR under seven.


He was cleaned up by Mohammed Shami trying for his 2nd maximum in as many balls. The Capitals needed 23 from 20 deliveries with Colin Ingram and Chris Morris at the crease and Hanuma Vihari still to bat. It was one of those rarest of days where DC went into panic mode despite having enough batting talent left. They recorded the worst seven-wicket collapse in the IPL as they scored only eight runs after Pant’s dismissal.

Against KKR too in Kolkata, Pant found himself in a similar situation while batting with Shikhar Dhawan. The Delhi keeper struck a 31-ball 46 at an S/R of 148.38 after coming to bat with RRR of 8.51. He and Dhawan added 105 for the 3rd wicket in 11.3 overs at 9.13 to bring down the required rate to mere 6 runs. Such 30s and 40s are good enough if not better than the idea of taking things down till the last ball or the final over in Twenty20s.


There is absolutely no need for Pant to tweak his style of approach in this format. The game against Rajasthan Royals showed his importance where he took on Jofra Archer, hitting him two sixes in ten deliveries. Pant struck a 36-ball 78* when the required RR at his arrival was 10.3. The runs didn’t come as expected from the other end as only 38 runs came in 4.3 overs during his stay.


(Note: Win % mentioned in the article are extracts of a beta version of an upcoming win predictor)

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