Rishabh Pant's international career has seen an upward spiral over the past few months. From being in ex-India skipper MS Dhoni's shadow, Pant has now carved his own niche to become a crucial member of the national set-up.
Pant's impressive performances in Australia and home series against England have made him India's first-choice wicketkeeper for the upcoming World Test Championship final and the five-Test series against the Three Lions.
The 23-year-old also tasted success with Delhi Capitals after taking charge of the franchise in absence of regular skipper Shreyas Iyer. Under Pant, Delhi finished at the top of the points table before this year's IPL was halted midway amid the growing number of COVID-19 cases in its bio-bubble.
India leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal also heaped praise on Pant's growth, saying that the left-handed dasher has 'matured' since his appearance for India in the 2019 World Cup.
"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 told Sports Tak in an interview.
"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,” he further said.
Pant's rejuvenated journey kick-started in Australia where he first helped India draw the Sydney Test with a 97-run knock, and then scored a match-winning 89 at the Gabba to claim the Border-Gavaskar Trophy. He also continued his brilliant form to notch up a Test hundred at home against England earlier this year.
“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. Earlier, he was not able to perform consistently, but now he has understood what he needs to do to succeed at this level. I am glad he has taken the responsibility and is proving his worth,” Chahal said.