'I turned to Rahul Dravid and asked...' Sam Billings recalls watching Rishabh Pant for first time

WION Web Team
New Delhi, India Published: Mar 09, 2021, 07:24 PM(IST)

'I turned to Rahul Dravid and asked...' Sam Billings recalls watching Rishabh Pant for first time Photograph:( AFP )

Story highlights

England wicketkeeper-batsman Sam Billings has recalled the first time he saw Rishabh Pant in the nets during his time with Delhi Daredevils – now Delhi Capitals. Billings spent two seasons with the Delhi franchise before being signed up by Chennai Super Kings. 

England wicketkeeper-batsman Sam Billings has recalled the first time he saw Rishabh Pant in the nets during his time with Delhi Daredevils – now Delhi Capitals. Billings spent two seasons with the Delhi franchise before being signed up by Chennai Super Kings. 

During the auction of Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021, Billings was roped in by Delhi Capitals for his base price of INR 2 crore. Ahead of IPL 2021, the England international recalled when he spotted Pant at the nets.  

Billings said after watching Pant smacking the likes of Kagiso Rabada, Chris Morris and Nathan Coulter-Nile at the nets, he turned straight to Rahul Dravid, who was the mentor of the franchise at that time, to ask about the youngster while terming the southpaw as "unbelievable”.  

IN PICS | IND vs ENG: Rishabh Pant's magnificent century against Jimmy Anderson and Co.

“With Pant, I played with him for 2 years when I was in Delhi. I turned to Rahul Dravid and asked 'who is this kid?' He was smacking Nathan Coulter-Nile, Chris Morris, Rabada everywhere in the open net. I was just thinking 'this is unbelievable!' and that year he lit up,” Billings told ESPNCricinfo.   

Billings will be back with Delhi Capitals and the glovesman is looking forward to playing with Pant again.  

“It's been great to see him evolve as a cricketer and to be in the same team as him again would be great,” Billings said. 

ALSO READ: IPL 2021 venues could host ICC T20 World Cup matches: Report

Meanwhile, Pant has seen a massive turnaround in his career. After warming the Team India bench for around a year, across formats, and finding him down in the pecking order, the swashbuckling southpaw played match-winning knocks against Australia and England. 

While India defeated Australia 2-1 in the four-Test series, the Virat Kohli-led side hammered England 3-1 in the home series to top the ICC World Test Championship standings. 

India will lock horns with New Zealand in the final of ICC WTC, scheduled to be played from June 18-22 at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton.  

Read in App