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Rishabh Pant makes India return at T20 World Cup, KL Rahul misses out

Rishabh Pant, who has shown impressive form in the IPL this year, earning 398 runs from 11 games, found a place in the 15-member squad headed to the US and West Indies.

WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND – NOVEMBER 16: Rishabh Pant looks on during an India training session ahead of the New Zealand and India T20 International series, at Basin Reserve on November 16, 2022 in Wellington, New Zealand. (Photo by Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images)

By: Vivek Mishra

Rishabh Pant is set to make his comeback to international cricket as he was named in India’s squad for the T20 World Cup in June, marking his return after a car crash 16 months ago.

The 26-year-old wicketkeeper-batsman, who has shown impressive form in the Indian Premier League this year, earning 398 runs from 11 games, found a place in the 15-member squad headed to the United States and West Indies.

Leading the squad is Rohit Sharma, alongside vice-captain Hardik Pandya. Pant’s inclusion sees veteran wicketkeeper KL Rahul stepping aside.

Reflecting on his journey back to the game after the December 2022 accident near New Delhi, Pant said, “The kind of accident I had, I’m lucky to be alive.” He described the physical challenges he faced during his rehabilitation, which included a damaged ligament in his right knee, a hurt wrist and ankle, and abrasions to his back.

Despite these setbacks, Pant’s resilience shone through as he returned to action, reclaiming the captaincy of Delhi Capitals for the ongoing IPL season.

Pant’s return to the field was met with applause from spectators, as he delivered an impressive performance, scoring 51 runs off 32 balls.

With Pant’s inclusion, the squad features batting stalwart Virat Kohli and Suryakumar Yadav, while Shubman Gill stands among the reserves.

Star all-rounder Hardik Pandya makes his comeback to the T20 team following an ankle injury sustained during last year’s ODI World Cup, despite facing challenges in the IPL.

Batting coach Kieron Pollard voiced his support for Pandya, urging fans to rally behind the player as he represents the country in the upcoming tournament.

Squad: Rohit Sharma (capt), Hardik Pandya (vice-capt), Yashasvi Jaiswal, Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant (wk), Sanju Samson (wk), Shivam Dube, Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Arshdeep Singh, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj.

Reserves: Shubman Gill, Rinku Singh, Khaleel Ahmed and Avesh Khan.

(AFP)

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