Rishabh Pant ecstatic after receiving maiden ODI cap from MS Dhoni
Pant became the 224th player to represent India in ODIs.
Updated - Oct 22, 2018 12:55 pm
It was a fitting start to Rishabh Pant’s ODI career as he received his maiden ODI cap from senior wicketkeeper and former captain MS Dhoni. The youngster became the 224th to represent India in ODIs on Sunday as he took the field against the Windies in Guwahati. There wasn’t much for him to do with the bat as his captain Virat Kohli and opener Rohit Sharma made the chase of 323 runs look ridiculously easy.
Pant, however, completed the catch of the dangerous Shimron Hetmyer at deep fine leg, who was dismissed shortly after getting to a fabulous century. His dismissal was crucial in the context of the game as Hetmyer was batting with a strike rate of over 135.
Only a few weeks ago Pant made his Test debut and was tasked with the important job of keeping wickets. Following Dinesh Karthik’s series of failures with the bat during the Test series against England, the Indian management sided with the youngster. Pant nonchalantly smashed his second ball in Test cricket for a huge six over long-on off Adil Rashid. He, however, got off to a couple of starts, but failed to carry them forward and convert them into big knocks.
Pant’s successes in 2018
The 21-year old finally came good in the fifth and final Test at The Oval, where he brought up his maiden Test century. Although India lost the game, Pant had proved to his critics that he’s more than capable with the bat at the international stage. He followed up his hundred with two consecutive scores of 92 in the home Tests against the Windies and has maintained his T20-esque batting style.
Despite all that, he has come under the scanner for his wicketkeeping techniques, with the focus being on his faulty footwork behind the stumps. The likes of Syed Kirmani have criticized his performance as a wicketkeeper and claim Pant isn’t ready to don the gloves in Test cricket yet.
Nevertheless, the youngster has had a lot of success in the limited overs formats. He was the second highest run-getter in the 2018 edition of the IPL, amassing 684 runs for the Delhi Daredevils. Pant was fast-tracked into India’s ODI side following his performances with the bat. On Sunday, he tweeted, “#ODI PLAYER NUMBER 224 FOR INDIA. Such a proud moment to have earned this cap. Thank you God and everyone who have been part of this journey!”
— Rishabh Pant (@RishabPant777) October 21, 2018
India have taken a 1-0 lead in the 5-match series against the Windies, with both teams now travelling to Vishakhapatnam for the next ODI.