‘Lost a bit of weight and he’s…’: Sunil Gavaskar lauds Rishabh Pant’s performance against Afghanistan | Cricket News – Times of India

NEW DELHI: Former Indian cricketer Sunil Gavaskar heaped praise on Rishabh Pant‘s performance following India’s resounding victory over Afghanistan in the ongoing T20 World Cup.
While acknowledging Pant’s quickfire 20 runs off 11 balls, Gavaskar’s praise extended beyond the immediate statistics, focusing on the wicketkeeper-batsman’s improved fitness and growing maturity.

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Gavaskar’s comments came after India secured a comfortable 47-run win, their unbeaten streak in the tournament remaining intact. Suryakumar Yadav‘s blistering half-century and Jasprit Bumrah‘s three-wicket haul were instrumental in the victory, but it was Pant’s overall contribution that caught Gavaskar’s eye.
Reflecting on Pant’s journey back from a severe car accident, Gavaskar expressed relief and delight at the player’s remarkable recovery.
“It’s a miracle, you know? I mean, we all were so concerned when we heard about the accident. We heard about the severity of the injuries and we were all praying for him just to be ok. But not only has he been ok, he’s come back so strongly. He’s lost a little bit of weight, which was probably needed and it looked at one stage that he was just maybe getting a little overweight. He’s lost a bit of weight and he’s looking so good, so fit,” Sunil Gavaskar told Star Sports after the match.

Gavaskar emphasized the significance of Pant’s decision to prioritize wicketkeeping over relying on Rohit Sharma, despite the latter’s renowned fielding prowess, adding, “Look at his mobility. Those two catches that he took, he was. He ran about 20-30 yards. I know the ball was up in the air, but there was Rohit Sharma there, one of the safest pairs of hands in the game. But wicketkeeper’s gloves are always much safer than ordinary hands, you know, plain hands. So he was there and again recognising the situation.”
Gavaskar drew parallels between Pant’s development and Hardik Pandya‘s evolution as a cricketer, emphasizing the importance of maturity and situational awareness.
“This is the maturity that is so important. We’ve seen it with Hardik Pandya, we are seeing it in Rishabh Pant’s cricket. The maturity of understanding conditions. Yes, batting wise, he will still continue to play the game. That’s exactly what you want because he’s a naturally attacking player and he can upset the bowler totally. That’s what he did. He didn’t score too many runs. He got 20 in about 10 deliveries at a SR of 200 but that is exactly what you want at that stage,” remarked the Indian batting icon.
Unbeaten so far in the tournament, India next take on Bangladesh in the Super 8 match of the T20 World Cup 2024 at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in North Sound, Antigua on Saturday.

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