Rishabh Pant joins Virat Kohli, Gautam Gambhir in unique IPL list

Rishabh Pant joined IPL giants Virat Kohli and Gautam Gambhir in an elite list as he made his appearance against Rajasthan Royals on Thursday

Delhi Capitals captain Rishabh Pant recorded a key milestone with the franchise on Thursday, as he became the first player from the side to appear in 100 Indian Premier League matches. Pant reached this feat during the game against Rajasthan Royals in Jaipur; he had made his debut in the league with DC way back in 2015, and was named the captain of the side in 2022.

Pant made a much-awaited return to cricketing action in IPL 2024, ending a 14-month wait since his near-fatal car accident. The Delhi Capitals captain, contrary to earlier reports, not only recorded full fitness but also retained his leadership role for the season, replacing David Warner who captained in his stead last year.

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Ahead of the clash against the Royals, Pant was tied with Amit Mishra for joint-most appearances for the Capitals (99). Here’s the list of players with the most DC caps in IPL history (* denotes players still active for the franchise):

  • Rishabh Pant – 100*
  • Amit Mishra – 99
  • Shreyas Iyer – 87
  • David Warner – 82*
  • Virender Sehwag – 79

As he became the first DC player to notch 100 appearances, he also joined the likes of Virat Kohli and Gautam Gambhir, among other IPL stalwarts who also became the first to reach the three-figure mark with a franchise. Here’s the complete list of the first players to reach 100 IPL matches for a team:

  • Suresh Raina (CSK)
  • Harbhajan Singh (MI)
  • Virat Kohli (RCB)
  • Gautam Gambhir (KKR)
  • Ajinkya Rahane (RR)
  • Bhuvneshwar Kumar (SRH)
  • Rishabh Pant (DC)

Pant won the toss in Jaipur and opted to bowl as Delhi Capitals chase their first win in the season. The side faced a disappointing defeat at the hands of Punjab Kings in its season opener last week.

The wicketkeeper-batter, in his first batting innings since his return to the game, may have scored just 18 off 13 deliveries but did display a series of characteristic strokes throughout his short stay at the crease. Pant also remained lively behind the stumps and also showcased his fast reflexes with a stumping dismissal against Jitesh Sharma.

Capitals eye improved season

Boosted by Pant’s arrival and the return of Anrich Nortje in the second match of the season against Royals, Delhi Capitals look for a much-improved season after they finished a dismal ninth in 2023. RR, meanwhile, narrowly missed on a playoff spot in the previous edition but began the 2024 campaign with a strong 20-run win over Lucknow Super Giants.

Delhi Capitals (DC) skipper Rishabh Pant will be playing his 100th Indian Premier League (IPL) match for the franchise when he takes to the field against Rajasthan Royals (RR) on Thursday, becoming the first player to do so for his team. The attacking left-handed batter has been loyal to the Blue franchise since his IPL debut in 2016.

In 99 matches played for DC so far, Pant has scored 2,856 runs at an average of 34.40 and a strike rate of 147.90, with a century and 15 fifties in 98 innings. His best score is 128*. Pant is the highest run-getter for Delhi since its inception in 2008, with stars like David Warner (2,433 runs in 84 matches) and Virender Sehwag (2,382 runs in 87 matches) taking the other two spots in the top three.

After showing some promise as a young upstart in 2016 and 2017 seasons, scoring 198 runs in 10 innings and 366 runs in 14 games, respectively, Pant took the cricketing world by storm with a breakthrough 2018 season. In that season, Pant scored 684 runs in 14 matches at an average of 52.62 and at a massive strike rate of 173.60. He scored a century and five fifties, with the best score of 128*.

The left-hander’s free-flowing 128* in 63 balls against Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH), with 15 fours and seven sixes at a strike rate of over 203, is a career-highlight. With the southpaw coming in with his team at 43/3, he single-handedly took them to a match-winning 187/5

This knock was filled with audacious, never-seen-before sweeps, scoops and one-handed-sixes that became Pant’s trademark shots in coming years. During this knock, he notably decimated Indian pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar, smashing him for 43 runs in 11 balls, with four boundaries and four sixes. He did not spare the T20 superstar spinner Rashid Khan either, scoring 27 runs off his 13 balls, with a six and four boundaries.

Rishabh’s made his comeback to the competitive cricket after December 2022 following a a life-threatening road accident against Punjab Kings (PBKS) and his comeback inning saw him score 18 in 13 balls, with two fours. The young wicketkeeper-batter will be raring to do much better this time around and entertain the Jaipur crowd.