Rishabh Pant smashed a brilliant 97 from 43 balls with six fours and nine sixes as Delhi Daredevils chased 209 to beat Gujarat Lions by seven wickets in their IPL match on Thursday.
Asked about hitting the second ball he faced for a six, Pant was quoted as saying in a PTI report, "If the ball is there to be hit, I will hit it. If a bad ball is bowled, you have to punish it. Rahul Dravid told me to play my normal game without thinking too much.”
The 19-year-old fell just short of a hundred. On it, he replied, "I was not thinking about those three runs. I was only thinking about chasing the target as quickly as possible. It's like had I been there to chase down the target, I would have got those three runs. And if I would have got those three runs, I would have chased the target.”
Pant did admit that the promotion in the batting order helped him. "You can see that. Earlier, I was batting lower down the order and coming in probably in the 15th over. Now, I have time to settle down and play my shots. The pitch was also good with the ball coming onto the bat," said Pant.
Asked to rate this innings in comparison to his domestic 300, he said, "I don't rate any of my innings. I play this game for the love of it.” Daredevils need to win their remaining games to stay in hunt for the play-offs. "We have decided to take it one match at a time. We don't want to look too far ahead," he stated.
--By A Cricket Correspondent