Yuzvendra Chahal on Rishabh Pant
In the crunch semi-final, Pant scored 32 before slog sweeping to the fielder. As we walked off the field, the expression on Virat Kohli’s face said it all.
The India captain was not pleased with Pant’s shot selection as India tried to recover from the hollows of 5/3 in chase of 240.
As a disappointed Pant walked off, Chahal revealed how the dismissal and the result had impacted the youngster, which is why seeing Pant perform the way he has in the last six months, gives him immense happiness.
“Rishabh Pant’s batting style hasn’t changed, but he has become mentally tougher. He is more clear about what he wants to do now and has begun to take greater responsibility. I would say he has really matured of late,” Chahal said on Sports Tak.
“I remember he had come into the team midway through the 2019 World Cup. When we lost the semi-final (against New Zealand), he was really hurt. As an elder brother I could see that he had been impacted a lot. I spoke to him during that phase and he came out of it well.”
The maturity which Chahal talks about is visible crystal clear in Pant’s batting. After batting form for the better part of 2020, Pant roared back with scintillating performances in the Australia Test series and took it forward in the England Tests at home. After a couple of 90-plus scores, Pant floored England with a century in the final Test in Ahmedabad, which Chahal feels are a testament to how long the 23-year-old has come since the heartbreak in Manchester.
“In Australia, he scored that 89 not out at the Gabba to take the team to victory. Even in the Ahmedabad Test (fourth Test against England), when the ball was turning a lot, he managed to crack an excellent hundred. Those knocks proved his maturity and his hunger,” Chahal explained.