VVS Laxman to WION: Delhi Capitals captaincy will help Rishabh Pant reach his potential

WION Web Team
New Delhi, IndiaWritten By: Digvijay Singh DeoUpdated: Apr 09, 2021, 10:10 AM IST


Story highlights

Sunrisers Hyderabad mentor and former Indian batsman VVS Laxman, in an exclusive interview with WION’s Sports Editor, Digvijay Singh Deo, talked about Rishabh Pant, his traits, how the youngster has evolved with experience in the world of cricket and more.

Rishabh Pant arguably has been the biggest gainer in Indian cricket over the last six months. After having gone through a rough patch, getting dropped by the Indian team across formats, the young southpaw made a roaring comeback in the national team by winning matches against Australia and England.

Sunrisers Hyderabad mentor and former Indian batsman VVS Laxman, in an exclusive interview with WION’s Sports Editor, Digvijay Singh Deo, talked about Rishabh Pant, his traits, how the youngster has evolved with experience in the world of cricket and more.


After not being named in the playing XI for Adelaide Test, Rishabh Pant found his place back in the team in Melbourne as Team India began a turnaround for ages in the series.

In three matches, Pant ended up as the highest run-scorer for India with 274 runs as the Ajinkya Rahane-led side scripted history and won the Border-Gavaskar series for the second time on the trot. Pant was the hero among many heroes for Team India and continued his rich run of form against England in the home series. Now, the southpaw will be seen leading Delhi Capitals in the absence of regular skipper Rishabh Pant.

Delighted with Pant’s career graph in the last six months, VVS Laxman said that the biggest difference in his game has the maturity and ability to access the situation without throwing his wicket away. Laxman lavished rich praise on Pant’s wicket-keeping as he said his work behind the stump comes as the most positive thing out of many.

“I always felt that Viru (Virender Sehwag) was a dangerous batsman who always posed threat to the opposition bowlers because he had the ability to not only hit loose deliveries for boundaries for success, but also good deliveries will be dispersed outside the boundary. I think it's more to do with his mindset. And for me, the biggest difference is how mature Rishabh Pant has become since the Sydney second innings not because he always had the shot, he always had that mindset, but now is much better prepared as far as understanding the situation and assessing the situation without compromising on his strength. And that's a very lethal combination, you know, because that will lead you to win a lot more matches and to become more consistent. And the more consistent a player of calibre of Rishabh Pant is, the more matches, he will win for his team, whichever team and whichever format is playing in,” Laxman told WION in an exclusive interview.


Laxman feels the opportunity to captain Delhi Capitals in IPL 2021 and extra responsibility will help Pant enhance his potential while taking his performance a notch above.

“I just believe that the maturity and the understanding of the situation as drastically improved in Rishabh Pant's game. The other huge difference is the way he has kept. And that for me has been the biggest positive this home season because the way he kept on challenging wickets in Test matches in Chennai and Ahmedabad shows that not only as you become more confident about his batting and winning matches, while batting, but also is become very confident behind the stumps, you know that really augurs well for Indian cricket. And I think sky is the limit for Rishabh Pant and I'm sure that he will go out and you know, sort of embrace this opportunity of leading the Delhi capitals team because when you have that extra responsibility on your shoulder, I'm sure that that will enhance his potential and performance. And that's something which I'm sure every fan of his is looking forward to,” the former Indian batsman said.

Despite losing a crucial player in Shreyas Iyer, Delhi Capitals, the runners-up of IPL 2020, head into a fresh season with a bundle of domestic talents. Be it experience or youth, DC are packed with a plethora of domestic players starting from Shikhar Dhawan, Ajinkya Rahane, Ravichandran Ashwin to Prithvi Shaw, Umesh Yadav, Ishant Sharma, Amit Mishra, Axar Patel among others. Not to forget Rishabh Pant. The overseas players just bolster the DC squad and make them one of the strong contenders for the IPL trophy.

A strong domestic core is key in a tournament like IPL and Laxman feels every franchise have understood the importance of investing in quality Indian players.

“It's not only Delhi, I think it's all the franchise, which invests in a lot of Indian players. Some players blossom and become more experienced and the more international cricket you play for the country. I think the more experience you get, the more confidence you get because of that exposure. So I think a lot of franchises understand the fact that it's important to invest in quality Indian players, and they become your market players, while the overseas players come in, to just fill in the gaps, you know, whichever skillset is lacking from the Indian talent pool, that's when you get in your overseas players to fill in the gaps,” Laxman explained.


“I think it's a good mix of the Indian talent and overseas experienced staff, and whichever team gels well, it's not only about the skill set, it's not only about the talent, but it's also about understanding each other's role understanding that you know, as a team, you have to go out and play together, not as individuals, and whichever team does that will have more results going in their favour. So I think the franchise understand and that's why auction becomes a big, big element in winning the tournament, you know because whatever you do on the auction table, will decide your future when the tournament comes,” he concluded.

Delhi Capitals start their IPL 2021 campaign against Chennai Super Kings on April 10 at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai where Pant will be seen locking horns with his mentor and former Indian captain MS Dhoni.


Whereas Laxman’s Sunrisers Hyderabad will be in action on April 11 against Kolkata Knight Riders in Chennai.