Pant's comeback in world cricket through T20WC, Dhoni and other legends lagged behind

Orhan Wadia
Orhan Wadia - Editor
7 Min Read

New Delhi. Before the ICC T20 World Cup 2024, fans had the most doubts about Rishabh Pant. There was a special reason behind this. After being badly injured in a car accident in December 2022, Pant has returned to active cricket from IPL 2024. Despite a brilliant performance in both batting and wicketkeeping in IPL, there was some doubt about Pant in international cricket. Everyone had the same question in their mind whether this 26-year-old player would be able to handle the dual responsibility of wicketkeeper batsman or not? Anyway, wicketkeeping is such a specialist job that requires 100 percent fitness. To collect the ball, the player often has to dive several times and 'stretch' the body.

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However, Pant's explosive performance in the current T20 World Cup has put a 'full stop' to all these doubts. In its last Super 8 match, Rohit Sharma Brigade defeated Australia by 24 runs and maintained a 100 percent winning record and topped Group 1 to reach the semi-finals. Pant has proved to be a 'trump card' for Team India in the tournament. The team management's decision to 'promote' him to number three in batting was a 'master stroke'. Even while wicketkeeping, it did not seem at all that this player has returned to international cricket after about one and a half years. Pant is the second highest run scorer for India so far in this tournament. The special thing is that he has scored these runs at a good strike rate. The way he 'moved forward' and played aggressive shots against the bowlers in the tournament has answered every question raised about the effect of the accident on this player's body, especially his legs.

Not only this, by performing brilliantly in wicketkeeping, he achieved such a feat which even great wicketkeeper batsmen like MS Dhoni, Adam Gilchrist and Kumar Sangakkara have not been able to achieve. Pant is the only wicketkeeper to score more than 100 runs and take more than 10 'catches' (catch/stumping) in a single T20 World Cup. Before him, no wicketkeeper has been able to take 10 or more catches. Not only this, Pant has taken three catches each in the matches against Pakistan and Afghanistan in the current T20 World Cup.

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Pant's performance so far in T20 World Cup 2024
Against Ireland: 36 not out, 2 catches
Against Pakistan: 42 runs, 3 catches
Vs USA: 18 runs, 2 catches
Vs Afghanistan: 20 runs, 3 catches
Against Bangladesh: 36 runs

Vs Australia: 15 runs

Comment : The match between India and Canada in the group match was cancelled due to rain.

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Apart from Pant, no wicketkeeper has taken 10 wickets in the T20 World Cup

In 6 matches of the tournament, Rishabh Pant has so far scored 167 runs (highest 42) at an average of 33.40 and a strike rate of 132.53 and has also taken 10 catches. Before him, as wicketkeepers, South Africa's AB de Villiers (2012), England's Jos Buttler (2022), Australia's Adam Gilchrist (2007), Pakistan's Kamran Akmal (2010), Sri Lanka's Kumar Sangakkara (2009), Australia's Matthew Wade (2021) and Netherlands' Scott Edwards (2022) had taken the most 9 catches in a T20 World Cup. Talking about MS Dhoni, he took the most 8 catches (four catches, four stumpings) as a wicketkeeper in the 2016 T20 World Cup.

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Performance in the last two T20 World Cups was ordinary
This is Rishabh Pant's third World Cup. Apart from scoring 254 runs in 13 matches of this tournament, he has also taken 12 catches (11 catches and one stumping). Earlier, the 2021 and 2022 T20 World Cups were ordinary for him as a player. In 2021, he scored 78 runs in 5 matches at an average of 39.00 and had one catch and one stumping to his name, while in 2022 Pant could contribute only 9 runs in 2 matches. After the failure with the bat in this World Cup, Dinesh Karthik was given a place in the playing XI in most of the matches in place of Pant.

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Dhoni has the most catches in T20 World Cup
MS Dhoni has taken the most catches (32) as a wicketkeeper in T20 World Cups. Dhoni, who has played six T20 World Cups, has taken 21 catches and 11 stumpings in 33 matches. Pakistan's Kamran Akmal is second with 30 catches in 30 matches. Dhoni has achieved the feat of taking four catches/stumps in a single T20 World Cup match twice. He did this feat against Afghanistan in the 2010 World Cup and against Pakistan in the 2012 World Cup.

tag: ICC T20 World Cup, M S Dhoni, Rishabh Pant, T20 World Cup, Team India

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