'Jittery, Nervous, Excited': Rishabh Pant Expresses His Emotions Ahead Of His Return In IPL 2024

'Jittery, Nervous, Excited': Rishabh Pant Expresses His Emotions Ahead Of His Return In IPL 2024

Delhi Capitals' keeper-batter Rishabh Pant expresses his emotions ahead of his return to cricket in IPL 2024

PTIUpdated: Friday, March 22, 2024, 06:11 PM IST
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Rishabh Pant | Credits: Twitter

Rishabh Pant is experiencing an entire gamut of emotions from nervousness to excitement as he gears up for his first competitive game in nearly 15 months when he leads Delhi Capitals in their IPL opener against Punjab Kings here on Saturday.

Coming back after a painstakingly long rehab following a horrific car crash in December, 2022, Pant feels grateful to be back on the 22-yard strip.

"Jittery, nervous, excited...all of it, but at the same time, just happy, being able to come back to professional cricket. I'm just looking forward to playing my first game tomorrow," Pant said ahead of his team's first match of the season.

The ace keeper-batter knows that it will take time to get back to his old self and he wants to take one day at a time with extended batting sessions at the DC nets as that will give him a better chance to execute his wide range of strokes.

"Every time I take the field, it's a different feeling altogether. I think, as a batter, as long as I can bat. It is better because the more I bat, I will be in a better position to execute shots, muscle memory is intact even though I haven't played for nearly a year and half," the swashbuckling batter said.

"But I have been playing since childhood, so it doesn't go away that easily. So, the more I practice, the better chance I will give myself as a cricketer," he added.

"Every time I take field, I love this game more and more" - Rishabh Pant

Having endured a painful break, Pant doesn't want to look too far ahead.

"I just want to be there in the moment. I don't think much ahead. I take one day at a time, and give my 100%. Every time I take field, I love this game more and more," he added while talking about Delhi Capitals' pre-season camp in Visakhapatnam.

Just like his batting, Pant wants to keep his team's approach as simple as possible.

"Most of the conversations are pretty simple. We just want to go out there, have fun, not complicate things and give our 100% in all the games," he said.

"He is the heartbeat of this franchise" - Ricky Ponting on Rishabh Pant

Head coach Ricky Ponting couldn't be happier that his skipper is back where he belongs.

"We are about to start an IPL, it's really an exciting time of the year. It becomes more exciting when your captain is back in your team. Last year, we missed him. He is our leader. He is the heartbeat of this franchise and having him back is going to make this team a lot stronger," Ponting said when asked about Pant's return.

Pant termed Pant's comeback as an "amazing story that cricket loving people of India should be proud of."

"When I met him during the IPL last year, he was on his crutches. Then we met at a camp in Kolkata, where he had started walking and was about to start jogging. Then I met him at the start of the camp. Look where he is now.

"Lot of people felt he might not come back but in his heart and mind, he never had those doubts at all. Matter of time for him to come back," the coach said.

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