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Things don't change overnight. I'm just 21, maturity will come: Pant

NEW DELHI: Of late, Rishabh Pant has been the focus of raging debate in Indian cricket over the wicketkeeper batsman no longer being picked for the upcoming World Cup. 10 days after the choice, you were compelled to empathise with him when you saw him shut his eyes, clinch his fists and collect himself as he got here out of an IPL sponsor dedication.


That performed, he pulled a chair, passed over the sponsor's pay cheque to his manager and asked him to ensure the cash reaches underprivileged children.

A deep breath later, Pant was able for a chat. You knew he was no longer comfortable discussing World Cup. So you took him again to the times when he shuttled between Roorkee, Jaipur and Delhi to discover a release pad for his profession. For the report, Pant had overlooked out on U-16 cricket and the Delhi Ranji staff resisted his creation in spite of his dominance in U-19 cricket.

"Whatever you learn in your childhood helps you a lot. I had to travel a lot to play and met a lot of people. I didn't get my due easily. There have been certain things for which I was made to push that bit extra. Those things have made me mentally strong," Pant mentioned as he talked about coping with setbacks.

"It is a setback when you are not selected. I am used to it. But a professional should know how to deal with it. Things will not always be the way you want them to be. When things don't go your way, you need to find a way to keep yourself positive. The important thing is to know how you can move on."

Chairman of selectors MSK Prasad talked about Pant's adulthood (loss of it) coming in the way in which of his variety for the World Cup. One of the most important criticisms has been his lack of ability to complete games. So, the conflict cry after completing the match for Delhi Capitals in opposition to Rajasthan Royals every week after the choice made sense.

"I take any criticism positively. Finishing matches is important. I will learn to do it consistently. You only learn from your experiences and mistakes," Pant made a humble statement ahead of explaining the truth of the method. "Things don't change overnight. I am just 21. It's difficult to think like a 30-year-old man. In due course, my mind will be stronger and there will be a lot of maturity. You need to give it time."

By now, Pant knows that his flamboyance on the field is ceaselessly wrong to be an informal way. Talk about his 'natural talent' dominates most analysis. "Natural talent sounds nice. But I don't have enough knowledge about what natural talent is and how it can be linked to hard work. I know that if I had to play top-level cricket then it wouldn't come without hard work. I was always told to focus on myself, not think ill of others."

Three weeks after the choice heartbreak, Pant seems to have 'moved on'. He is at the vanguard of Delhi Capitals' encouraging run in IPL. Does the position of being one of the vital mainstays of a somewhat younger batting lineup lend a hand? "Even when I play for India, my aim is to help my team win. It's the same for every team I play for," he mentioned, no longer wanting to complicate issues.

The closing 8 months have been loopy for him. From the enjoyment of being a Test good fortune to the nervousness of finding a certain position in India's white-ball staff, Pant's journey has belied stereotypes. He has time for himself now and he has hit the reset button already. "I need to work on all facets - be it the game or the approach. I'll take that one at a time. Popularity milti rahegi. (Popularity will come along). But I have to focus on what I need to do to improve as a player."

As the dust settles on the World Cup squad debate, India's No. 1 standby leaves, saying: "Aim toh ek hi hain. IPL jeetna. (There's only one aim now. Win the IPL)."

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