DC’s Rishabh Pant during the IPL T20 Cricket match against PBKS at Mullanpur, Punjab, on March 23, 2024.

DC’s Rishabh Pant during the IPL T20 Cricket match against PBKS at Mullanpur, Punjab, on March 23, 2024.
| Photo Credit: Moorthy RV

Former India opener Navjot Sidhu is confident wicketkeeper batter Rishabh Pant’s return to form is just a “matter of time” following his nearly 15-month-long absence from professional cricket after a horrific car crash.

Pant is back leading his Indian Premier League side Delhi Capitals after missing the action last season due to his recovery and rehabilitation.

Though Pant did not have the comeback he would have wished for in DC’s match against Punjab Kings here on Saturday, being dismissed for 18 by Harshal Patel, he was quick between the wickets, took a catch behind the stumps and also effected a stumping.

“(He is) leading Delhi Capitals and running between the wickets and playing good cricket. Just a matter of time he will regain his form. But, importantly, Indian cricket has got its fine gem back, and we should be thankful to God on his return to the field,” said Sidhu on Star Sports on ‘Cricket Live’ programme.

Sidhu added that when he first saw the images of the crash, he wondered how anyone could survive a mishap like that.

“When this accident had happened, I saw the picture of the vehicle. Everything got burned, and there was no vehicle at the scene. How anyone can survive that sort of horrifying accident?

“Post that, we were in assumption that whether the operations will succeed or not, but all went well for him. And in the process of physiotherapy when the removal of plaster happens your body doesn’t move at all which is a very painful experience for anyone… from that condition, he is out now,” added Sidhu, following DC’s four-wicket loss to PBKS in their opening game.

Top class cricket from Rana in the final over: Gavaskar

Two-time champions Kolkata Knight Riders eked out a thrilling four-run win against Sunrisers Hyderabad and former great Sunil Gavaskar gave credit for the victory to young pace bowler Harshit Rana, who grabbed three vital wickets in the contest.

“He (Rana) totally learned (how the wicket is behaving) from that first ball he bowled; it was a quicker delivery and it was pulled for a six by (Heinrich) Klaasen,” Gavaskar said.

“The next five deliveries he took the pace off, bowled those slow cutters, slower off-cutters which actually meant that there was no pace coming off the surface for the batters to play the big shot.

The rookie pacer took dismissed Shahbaz Ahmed and Klassen as he successfully defended 13 runs off the last over to give his team a winning start.

“So fantastic over, absolutely top class over from Harshit Rana. I think they gave Russell for his two wickets and 64 the player of the match, but they must also give something to Harshit Rana for his spell and particularly for that last over,” added Gavaskar.


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