Rishabh Pant produced an attacking masterclass as the Delhi Capitals trounced three-time champions Mumbai Indians at the Wankhede Stadium. Powered by the Indian wicket-keeper’s quick-fire unbeaten 78 off a mere 27 deliveries, the Capitals amassed 213 runs and went on to beat Rohit Sharma’s Mumbai outfit by 37 runs. This win marked the first time Delhi have won their inaugural IPL match of the season in seven years.
Aided by crucial knocks from Colin Ingram and Shikhar Dhawan, the Delhi Capitals found themselves in a situation wherein they could attack without having second thoughts. The scenario was tailor-made for Pant who unleashed absolute carnage on the Mumbai bowlers as the Wankhede crowd were privy to some merciless hitting. The Delhi wonderkid spared no one as every Mumbai bowler was treated with total disdain. Of the 99 runs that were scored off the last 6 overs in the Delhi innings, Pant smashed 77, as the ball took the aerial route and was left flying to each and every nook and corner of the stadium.
The formidable Jasprit Bumrah too, saw the wrath of Rishabh Pant, as the southpaw had a lethal reply to all the varieties the former was producing. The newbie from Jammu & Kashmir, Rasikh Salam and Hardik Pandya, too, were taken to the cleaners as Pant wrought havoc at the Wankhede. As we saw him helicopter-flicking a Bumrah yorker, it was obvious that there was very little the rest of the bowling line-up could do. The situation was laid out in red carpet for the DC finisher, and to say he made the most of it would be a gross understatement. Most of the big hits were expectedly targeted in the mid-wicket and square leg region, but there was not a field that Rohit would set that brought different results. Pandya particularly tried different tricks – full and wide outside off, a slower one and even some short-pitched bowling; each in vain. The seemingly endless torrent of attacking shots that he displayed, also resulted in the fastest ever fifty (18 balls) scored against Mumbai Indians, eclipsing MS Dhoni’s record of 20 balls.
Pant had come under severe criticism during the India vs Australia ODI series after coming in as MS Dhoni’s replacement for the final two matches. Pant was slammed for his performance behind the stumps. However, the youngster once again proved his naysayers wrong with a sensational knock for Delhi Capitals vs Mumbai Indians in IPL 2019 at the Wankhede Stadium on Sunday night. This whirlwind knock (70 in fours and sixes) would definitely keep him in good stead, especially taking into consideration that the World Cup is around the corner. The maverick from Delhi has it in him definitely to be the heir to MS Dhoni’s throne too, and should be in the plane to England come the end of May. For now, the glitzy tournament has started in blistering fashion for Rishabh Pant.