Rishabh Rajendra Pant (born 4 October 1997) is a professional Indian cricketer who plays for India, Delhi, and the Delhi Capitals in the Indian Premier League. In December 2015, he was named in India’s squad for the 2016 Under-19 Cricket World Cup. On 1 February 2016, during the tournament, he hit an 18-ball fifty, the fastest at this level. He made his Twenty20 International (T20I) debut for India in January 2017, his Test debut in August 2018, and his One Day International (ODI) debut in October 2018. In January 2019, Pant was named the ICC Emerging Player of the Year at the 2018 ICC Awards.
Rishabh Pant was born in Roorkee, Uttarakhand, India to Rajendra Pant and Saroj Pant. At the age of 12, Pant would travel with his mother to Delhi during the weekends to get trained under Tarak Sinha at the Sonnet Cricket Academy. He and his mother stayed at a gurdwara in Moti Bagh locality as they did not have a place to stay in the city.
Sinha suggested Pant switch to Rajasthan to play U-13 and U-15 cricket but to no avail. Pant was told by his mentor to overhaul his entire batting technique which based on Hand-eye coordination to become a better batsman.
His turning point came when he was playing U-19 cricket for Delhi against Assam. Pant had top-scored with 35 but was severely reprimanded by the coach for giving his wicket away at a hat-trick. He then hit 150 in the second innings which was the most important knock in his career
Rishabh Pant made his first-class debut on 22 October 2015 in the 2015–16 Ranji Trophy and his List A debut on 23 December 2015 in the 2015–16 Vijay Hazare Trophy.
In the 2016–17 Ranji Trophy, while playing a match against Maharashtra, he scored 308 runs in an innings, becoming the third-youngest Indian to score a triple century in first-class cricket.
On 8 November 2016, Pant scored the fastest century in the Ranji Trophy, from just 48 balls, in Delhi’s match against Jharkhand.
In February 2017, he was named Delhi’s captain for the 2016–17 Vijay Hazare Trophy. He took over from Gautam Gambhir, who led Delhi to the final of the previous season. Delhi coach Bhaskar Pillai said it was a “consensus decision” to blood Pant for the future.
On 14 January, in the 2017–18 Zonal T20 League fixture between Himachal Pradesh and Delhi, Pant scored the second-fastest century in a Twenty20 match, making 100 from 32 balls.
Indian Premier League
On 6 February 2016, he was bought by Delhi Daredevils for Rs 1.9 crore. On the same day, he scored a century for India U-19 in the World Cup, guiding India into the semi-finals.
Pant was bought by the Delhi Daredevils In the 2016 Indian Premier League (IPL) auction. Playing only his third game of his IPL season, Pant made 69 runs from 40 balls to help Delhi to an eight-wicket victory over Gujarat Lions. He made his maiden IPL half-century off 25 balls. In the 2017 season, he scored 97 runs in 43 balls against the same team in Delhi on 4 May.
In May 2018, during the 2018 Indian Premier League, Pant scored 128 not out from 63 balls against the Sunrisers Hyderabad, making then the highest individual score by an Indian cricketer in a Twenty20 match, surpassing the previous record held by Murali Vijay but later broken by Shreyas Iyer who scored 148 runs for Mumbai.
In January 2017 he was named in India’s Twenty20 International (T20I) squad for their series against England. He made his debut for India in the third T20I against England at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bangalore on 1 February 2017. He was the youngest player for India to debut in a T20I match at the age of 19 years 120 days before Washington Sundar who played at the age of 18 years 80 days made his debut in 2017.
In July 2018, he was named in India’s Test squad for the series against England. He made his Test debut against England on 18 August 2018. He became the first batsman for India to get off the mark in Test cricket with a six. On 11 September 2018, he scored his maiden Test century, against England.
He became the second-youngest wicket-keeper and the first Indian wicket-keeper to score a Test century in England. The following month, he was named in India’s One Day International (ODI) squad for their series against the West Indies. He made his ODI debut for India against the West Indies on 21 October 2018.
In December 2018, during the first Test against Australia, he took eleven catches, the most by a wicket-keeper for India in a Test match. In January 2019, during the fourth Test against Australia, Pant became the first wicket-keeper for India to score a century in a Test match in Australia.
In June 2019, Pant was called up to India’s squad at the 2019 Cricket World Cup as cover for Shikhar Dhawan, who suffered a hairline fracture on his left thumb during India’s game against Australia. On 19 June 2019, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) confirmed that Dhawan had been ruled out for the rest of the tournament, with Pant confirmed as his replacement. Following the World Cup, the International Cricket Council (ICC) named Pant as the rising star of the squad.
In September 2019, during the second Test against the West Indies, Pant became the fastest wicket-keeper for India to affect fifty dismissals in Test cricket.