Home Cricket ‘Few People Would Have Come Back From Such Injuries’: Shane Watson in Awe of ‘Super Driven’ Rishabh Pant

‘Few People Would Have Come Back From Such Injuries’: Shane Watson in Awe of ‘Super Driven’ Rishabh Pant

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Rishabh Pant has struck back-to-back fifties while captaining DC. (BCCI Photo)

Rishabh Pant has struck back-to-back fifties while captaining DC. (BCCI Photo)

Rishabh Pant has made quite a stunning comeback after recovering from a horrific car accident to lead Delhi Capitals in the ongoing IPL 2024.

Each season of the Indian Premier League (IPL) brings out a plenty of inspirational stories of players overcoming odds to make it big. One such story in the ongoing IPL 2024 is of India’s wicketkeeper-batter Rishabh Pant, who made his competitive return after a gap of 15 months.

Pant was involved in a life threatening accident in December 2022 which left him with multiple injuries and he underwent multiple surgeries followed by extensive rehabilitation to start walking again.

Pant is currently leading the Delhi Capitals under the guidance of coach Ricky Ponting. While DC haven’t been been able to impress thus far as is evident by their 9th position on the points, individually for Pant the season has started well.

He has struck back-to-back half-centuries to rack up 152 runs from four innings at a strike-rate of 158.33.

‘Special Human Being’

In an exclusive conversation with News18 CricketNext, legendary Australia allrounder Shane Watson says only a few people would have been able to come back from what Pant went through.

“Rishabh is an incredibly special human being,” Watson, a JioCinema expert, said.

“Even before getting to know him very well with my time at the Delhi Capitals and then obviously seeing and understanding what he went through when it came to his accident and coming back from that. There is no question as it happened and after it happened, for me only a few people would have been able to come back and come back so quickly from such a devastating injuries that Rishabh was faced with,” he added.

Watson was an assistant coach with DC for two seasons where he saw Pant from close quarters which left him impressed.

“…he is a super driven young man and that’s the thing that stood out for me with the one full season that I worked with him at Delhi Capitals. He is someone who has probably driven more than anyone I have ever been around. He is desperate to be as good as he possibly can and there is no surprise for me to be able to see him come back and then find his mojo so quickly,” Watson said.

Stay updated with the latest from IPL 2024, including top contenders for the IPL 2024 Orange Cap and IPL 2024 Purple Cap. Explore the complete IPL 2024 Schedule, IPL 2024 Points Table and players with the Most Sixes, Most Fours and Most Fifties in IPL 2024

‘It Doesn’t Surprise Me’

One major question surrounding Pant’s comeback was whether he’ll be able to find his old form back straightaway. His performances in the first four matches seem to have sufficiently answered that for now.

Watson though felt it will take Pant some time to find his mojo but he’s not surprised by it either.

“Honestly, I thought it was going to take Rishabh up until the back end of the IPL to really find his mojo and find his groove back out in the middle again. But seeing him dominate over the last couple of games, again it doesn’t surprise me because anything he does doesn’t surprise me. He is so driven, he is so deeply engaged in how to be the best that he possibly can and to see him as he is learning how to deal with his new body that he has had to really rebuild,” Watson said.

‘An Inspirational Story’

Watson believes that Pant’s story, even before his accident, has been inspirational.

“To be able to see him just execute his skills under immense pressure and see Rishabh Pant evolve and some of those incredible shots that he has played that we have seen on the big stage, it is just an inspirational story. Even before the last two years, Rishabh Pant’s story anyway is an inspirational story, to come from where he did and the desire and desperation for him to be the best cricketer he possibly could be meant that he was able to represent India and perform for India at such a young age,” Watson concluded.

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