IPL: Pant's return shows his perseverance, commitment & willpower to come back, says Ramji Srinivasan

March 21, 2024
There is an exuberating sense of happiness in the voice of Ramji Srinivasan, India’s former strength and conditioning coach

New Delhi, March 21 (IANS) There is an exuberating sense of happiness in the voice of Ramji Srinivasan, India’s former strength and conditioning coach, when asked about Rishabh Pant’s return to competitive cricket, especially after the left-handed wicketkeeper-batter was named as the captain of Delhi Capitals in IPL 2024.

Following a 14-month period of recuperation from multiple injuries suffered in a life-threatening car accident in December 2022, there has been significant anticipation and enthusiasm regarding Pant’s return to cricketing action since being deemed fit by the BCCI to take part in IPL 2024.

“His return to cricket shows his perseverance, commitment, and the willpower to come back into the sport, which is absolutely fantastic. The team at the NCA, which has worked with him, deserves to be acknowledged who have ably helped him in his bold come back. Now he has to take it progressively and pay heed to the need of the hour so that he’s on the best path for recovery and gameplan,” Srinivasan said in conversation with IANS.

What enhances the joy of Pant’s upcoming return to cricket is him being given the green light to play as a wicketkeeper-batter, especially considering the intricate nature of injuries, particularly in his right knee.

In a video on bcci.tv, Dhananjay Kaushik, the NCA physiotherapist, revealed that all four main ligaments (ACL, MCL, LCL and PCL), popliteus muscle and a part of quadriceps Pant’s right knee were all damaged.

“It’s a good sign, since keeping is a different ball game altogether. He has to be very mindful of how he proceeds, as his progression will be the key now. He will come out very strong, as Rishabh is a very tough kid. I am also very confident about him smashing sixes and showcasing the maverick style of batting which he’s known for,” added Srinivasan, who was the strength & conditioning coach when India won 2011 Men’s ODI World Cup.

He also lauded the dedicated team at the NCA, which includes Kaushik, physiotherapist Thulasi Ram Yuvaraj, strength and conditioning trainers Nishanta Bordoloi and Rajinikanth Sivagnanam, as well as Mumbai-based nutritionist Shweta Shah, for their dedicated efforts in ensuring Pant’s complete fitness and return to the field.

“At the end of the day, it’s all a team-work featuring the physiotherapists, nutritionist, strength & conditioning trainers, psychologists and coaches, it has been a very good and important team work. The entire team deserves the absolute credit.

“One has to evolve their own system of methodologies, treating, assessing, analysing and progression in injuries accordingly. They have done well and wherever it is due, credit has to be given, as that’s how the ecosystem grows. They have done a good job, which also adds as an extra motivation for the support staff who worked to get Rishabh fit to do even better work,” he said.

With Pant making a comeback to the fast-paced world of cricket, Srinivasan highlighted the significance of transparent communication among different stakeholders to assist him in readjusting to the sport and its associated pressures.

“The support staff of Delhi Capitals and NCA need to have a coordinated effort. They should have a very honest and open line of communication about Rishabh Pant at any point of time. At the end of the day, the player should not suffer because he’s put in loads of hard yards to go past the difficult times, which definitely takes a toll mentally. He’s come back really well, is very strong as he’s a cheerful and confident person, which augurs very well.”

On a sunny Saturday afternoon, Pant, 26, would stride confidently onto the field for the toss as Delhi Capitals kick off their IPL 2024 campaign against Punjab Kings at the picturesque Maharaja Yadavindra Singh International Cricket Stadium in Mullanpur.

Srinivasan signed off by envisioning a joyful atmosphere at the stadium upon Pant’s return to the cricket field. “He now needs to look up and keep surging ahead. You don’t want real talent to miss out playing for India and he’s the one who has won you matches single-handedly.

“Hoping the best for him and whenever he’s back on the field, it will be total Diwali vibes that day in Mohali, followed by the same festivities happening whenever he plays in Delhi. It is going to be an absolutely riveting day when Rishabh is back on the field.”



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