What’s the story?
Indian youngster Rishabh Pant is confident that Delhi Daredevils can overturn their disappointing outings in the recent editions of the IPL and win the tenth edition of the T20 league under the guidance of mentor Rahul Dravid.
The 19-year-old is keenly looking forward to the 2017 edition of the IPL from a personal point of view as well as it would enable him to reunite with Dravid, his mentor and idol.
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Delhi Daredevils have been one of the most underwhelming teams in IPL history, having failed to progress to the knockout stages of the tournament in six of the previous nine editions.
Their chances for the upcoming edition were dealt a major blow when South African all-rounder JP Duminy opted out of the 2017 IPL due to personal reasons but that doesn’t seem to have bothered Pant too much as he believes the Zaheer Khan-led side have the potential to go all the way this time around.
The youngest player to represent India in a T20 international, Pant had a stellar 2016-17 Ranji Trophy campaign during which he scored the fastest century in the history of the prestigious tournament, reaching the three-figure mark off just 48 balls.
Pant’s growing stature also resulted in him being made the captain of the Delhi side for the Vijay Hazare trophy, replacing the much senior Gautam Gambhir, and though he failed to shine with the bat, scoring just 42 runs in three matches, the wicketkeeper-batsman is eagerly looking forward to the 2017 IPL.
“He has known me since the India U-19 days and knows my strengths and weaknesses inside out and guides me accordingly, Rishabh said, speaking exclusively to CricketNext. ”Rahul sir for me is more than a coach, sort of a mentor, who not only fine-tunes my technique but also helps me develop a positive mindset."
Delhi will be keen to make it to the knockout stages of the IPL for the first time since 2012 and the ruthless way in which they overhauled their squad following a disappointing campaign last time out proves that they mean business, but whether the changes pay dividends, only time will tell.
The chance to work with Dravid is something all Indian youngsters aspire to and if past history is anything to go by, Pant is sure to create some ripples with his excellent strokeplay in IPL 2017.