Rishabh Pant stormed into the record books as he smashed a T20 century in just 32 balls against Himachal in the ongoing Syed Mushtaq Ali trophy. His hundred proved to be the fastest in the T20 format by an Indian and the second fastest in the world behind Chris Gayle, who scored off 30 balls.
Recalling his wonderful innings, Pant said “It was like I bat every day. Today, I came in with a bit more positive mindset. I was thinking that I have to bat long and score big. The wicket was good for batting. I started off normally. I even left two-three balls when I got a good delivery, but then I was middling the ball well and runs began to flow and I capitalized on that. I felt I had played 40-45 balls but later came to know that I had played 32 balls only for the hundred.”
Rishabh Pant didn’t have a successful outing as a batsman in the recent Ranji Trophy season, despite leading Delhi to the finals of the Ranji Trophy. But the three figure score eluded him, which was strange for the wicketkeeper batsman who had scored a triple ton in the previous Ranji season.
“(Yes) It is my first century of the season. (While) every run that I score is important, I have been trying to score big for some time (now). I was only getting to 30/40/50/60 runs but wasn’t getting a big score. It was going on for some time like that. I was batting well but wasn’t able to convert it into big scores so that is what I was trying to do; to convert the knock into a big one and that happened today,” said Pant about his century.
Pant remarked, “Obviously, I felt good about it when I came to know, you always do, when that happens. Last season (2016-17 season) too, I had scored the fastest first-class hundred in India and then this year (2017-18 season) in T20; so yes, it feels good to see your name in the record books. But one doesn’t play for records. I try to perform and while doing that records happen.... like Virat bhai (Kohli) keeps scoring (I try to do the same). Records happen if you keep scoring, so at the end of the day, if you are scoring runs then everything is good.”
“In the beginning I wasn’t doing too well, but that is okay. Sometimes you have to keep your performance aside and think about your team. The team is doing well and that’s what matters. I look to contribute in any way I can. If the batting isn’t coming off well then take a good catch while fielding or help to get a run out and try to contribute in whatever way possible. When the team wins 11 people are happy when you do well then only you are happy; so according to me, you should try to see that everyone is happy. And when everyone is happy is when I feel good,” Pant said after his not so good Ranji season with the bat.
Pant revealed that he went back to his club coach to get things right in his batting.
He explains, “I had gone to my club (Sonnet Club) and met my coach and he told me a couple of things and I think that has helped. It was about my technique. Tarak (Sinha) sir and Devender sir ... they always help. I think when I practice there (with them at the club) and come (to play) I get a different kind of confidence that I will definitely do well. I think that is what has helped.”
Pant also shared his views on joining the list of fastest T20 century makers, which has the likes of Rohit Sharma (35 balls) and Chris Gayle (30 balls. Pant said, “It feels good, but I haven’t thought much about it yet. I believe that one should keep on performing and not think about what you have done.”