IPL 2024: Rishabh Pant is doing his keeping drills, but that will take time, says Parthiv Patel

Mumbai, Feb 22 (IANS): The Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024 will get off to a blockbuster start on March 22 with defending champions Chennai Super Kings (CSK) taking on Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in the opening match at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai.

Former cricketers Parthiv Patel, Abhinav Mukund and Aakash Chopra analysed some of the opening fixtures; spoke about the imminent return of Delhi Capitals’ wicketkeeper-batter Rishabh Pant and the return of Hardik Pandya to Mumbai Indians as captain.

Speaking to JioCinema, Parthiv Patel, on Rishabh Pant’s return, said: “Rishabh Pant is really positive. He talks more about gratitude and looks at life differently after the incident. He is doing his keeping drills, but that will take time. You know he is a blockbuster player; he does something or the other on the field, wins matches for his team. You just want to see him all the time, whether it’s him smiling or keeping and chirping from behind the stumps, he is a really good package. On top of this, he has recovered really well from the accident. All of us are waiting to see him hit those sixes, however it’s not easy, however experienced you are. Staying away from the game for such a long time, it’s not easy to come back to form straight away. His comeback depends on his mental preparation and toughness.”

Meanwhile, Aakash Chopra on whether new skipper Hardik Pandya can help Mumbai Indians win back the IPL trophy, stated: “It’s not easy to bring back the trophy. But if you look at the Mumbai squad, they should bring it back. If you look at their Indian players, there are only one-two players who are not capped. Most of them are India players and have performed. Their overseas players provide them plenty of options. From the team perspective, Hardik has been given everything he would have wanted. But his biggest challenge will be to pull the team together in one direction and help them perform collectively. Without that, the trophy can’t be won. MI’s season will depend on Pandya’s leadership skills. If he can help the team focus collectively, they can win.”

Parthiv Patel, too, shared his thoughts on Pandya’s captaincy: “Of course, his captaincy is a talking point. The way he led the side, winning the championship in the first year, a last-ball finish in the final next year, it was a great run at Gujarat Titans. He could have easily had two trophies in two years. Hardik has moved on, and is now back in Mumbai, where his cricket started. There will be a lot of expectations from MI because the trophy is long due. They won the WPL and leagues across the world. We talk about CSK and KKR winning twice, but for MI qualifying is not a success, it's about winning championships. That's something they must have thought and it seems like a well thought decision to get him on board, looking at the future. But there will be a lot of pressure on Hardik, it will be challenging, replacing a five-time title-winning captain and a team that is used to playing a certain way for 10 years. And this change of guard will be challenging for Hardik and for the players who are so used to playing under Rohit Sharma.”

Whereas, Abhinav Mukund while talking about the opening fixture between CSK and RCB, said: “CSK versus RCB has been a great rivalry over the years. RCB came incredibly close to winning at Chepauk but couldn’t cross the line. A couple of these moments will be etched in fans’ hearts. The good thing for RCB is that the pitches in Chennai have changed. It's no longer a fortress for CSK. They lost to Punjab and KKR at home, even though they won the trophy. But, looking at the spin-friendly conditions and the spinners they have, CSK looks stronger on paper.”



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Title: IPL 2024: Rishabh Pant is doing his keeping drills, but that will take time, says Parthiv Patel

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