USA vs IND: Not Rohit Sharma or Virat Kohli! Anil Kumble hails Rishabh Pant as India's best batsman

Updated - 10 Jun 2024, 05:00 PM

Rishabh Pant and Anil Kumble
Rishabh Pant and Anil Kumble (Credits: X)

Former India leg-spinner Anil Kumble heaped a lot of praise on Rishabh Pant for his decent batting as well as keeping performance against Pakistan yesterday. 

India took on Pakistan for the 8th time in the history of ICC T20 World Cups since the tournament's inaugural edition back in 2007. For Rishabh Pant, it was just his second-ever outing against the Men in Green led by batter Babar Azam. Pant played in his first-ever T20 World Cup match against the Pakistanis during the 2021 edition in UAE.

Rishabh Pant's first outing against Pakistan was not what he had expected as Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan had led their side to a 10-wicket victory. It marked the first time that the Green Army won a match against India at a T20 WC with all previous of them going in favour of India. 

In the 2022 T20 WC, Rishabh Pant was a part of the squad but he was not picked in the Indian XI due to the presence of Dinesh Karthik in the team. Right after experiencing his first victory against Pakistan in November, Pant met with an unfortunate car accident which kept him out of action for more than a year. Because of that, he even had to miss the ICC Cricket World Cup on home soil. 

But yesterday the situation was very different. Rishabh Pant was a starter who came to bat in at number 3, scored more than 40 runs, and most importantly, made some brilliant efforts in the field and behind the stumps. His performance has intrigued a lot of reaction from former cricketers and Anil Kumble has become the latest to join that list. 

What did Anil Kumble say about Rishabh Pant? 

While speaking to ESPNcricinfo yesterday after India earned their 7th victory against Pakistan in a T20 WC match, Anil Kumble had high praise for Rishabh Pant. The word that Kumble used up front to describe Pant was "brave" as the left-hand batter played one too many risky shots which could have ended up as wickets too. 

Not only was Rishabh Pant brave, but he was lucky at the same time as Pakistan had dropped a number of chances to get him out but they remained unsuccessful. With that being said, Anil Kumble claimed that Pant was being favored by his fortune because he was brave and wanted to help his team at all costs.  

"He was brave. I mean there were chances that were missed by Pakistan. There were balls which sort of landed in no man's land. But that's what I mean fortune favors the brave and he took some really risky sort of shots and came off and he's been outstanding," Kumble said via ESPNcricinfo. 

"I mean since the time that he has come back it was wonderful to see him come back into active cricket and to come into a world cup and literally take the game and has been sort of best player so far for this Indian batting line up, "Anil Kumble concluded.  


Anil Kumble India National Cricket Team Pakistan national cricket team ICC T20 World Cup 2024 ICC T20 World Cup Rishabh Pant