IPL 2024: Kevin Pietersen Highlights Rishabh Pant's Mobility As Encouraging Factor For India

Rishabh Pant grabbed two catches, effected a couple of stumpings and then played a 16-run cameo in Delhi Capitals' six-wicket triumph over Gujarat Titans in match 32 of Indian Premier League 2024

Rishabh Pant was adjudged as the 'Player of the Match' for the Delhi Capitals vs Gujarat Titans game in IPL 2024. Photo: IPL/BCCI

Former England captain Kevin Pietersen feels Rishabh Pant and the Indian team management should feel very encouraged by the comeback-man's mobility in the IPL game against Gujarat Titans here as the T20 World Cup draws closer. (More Cricket News)

Pant grabbed two catches, effected two stumpings and then played a 16-run cameo in Delhi Capitals' six-wicket triumph over Gujarat Titans in Ahmedabad on Wednesday. He was adjudged 'Player of the Match' based purely on his keeping skills, a first in IPL since Dinesh Karthik won one in 2009 edition in South Africa.

Pant is the  top contender for the wicketkeeper's slot in the Indian squad that will be chosen for the showpiece in June.

"His mobility was something that will give him great encouragement, which will also encourage Team India. Of course, he needs game time, as everyone does when coming back from an injury," Pietersen said on 'Star Sports Cricket Live'.

"He's returning from a horrific injury, so game time is crucial for him. To prepare for the T20 World Cup, he should play these 14–15 IPL games because it's significant leading into a T20 World Cup. If he plays that much cricket, he will be ready," he added referring to the life-threatening car crash in which Pant suffered multiple injuries in 2022.

Pietersen was also impressed by Pant's captaincy during the game, saying he used his resources quite tactfully. DC dismissed GT for 89 runs in 17.3 overs before overhauling the target in 8.5 overs.

"Yeah, the first three bowlers actually bowled beautifully this evening and the way that Rishabh Pant marshalled his troops was exceptional because you want to see one bowler bowling one over and another bowling another...," said the former batter.

"....they keep changing with five or six bowlers bowling in the first powerplay whereas Rishabh Pant said no, I am going to back my strike bowlers and I'm going to back the guys that are doing well for me, they are very good with the new ball and I want them to really bury GT.

"And that's exactly what Delhi did, they buried GT in the powerplay."