One of the biggest stars of the Indian Premier League, Rishabh Pant has become a household name in cricket after his exploits in the T20 format. The Delhi-born wicket-keeper batsman has quickly become the toast of the nation thanks to his incredible big-hitting skills.
Playing for his home franchise, Delhi Capitals in the IPL, Pant has taken part in 54 IPL matches, aggregating 1,736 runs at a stupendous strike rate of 162.69. He holds the record for the highest individual score (128*) by an Indian player in the tournament. Besides, he has also taken 33 catches and executed 11 stumpings behind the wickets for Delhi.
He has played only 4 IPL seasons but the left-handed batsman has already slammed 94 sixes in his short career. The 22-year-old has gone under the hammer only once in IPL and apart from Delhi, three teams were behind him in the 2016 auction.
Here’s a look at the 3 teams that wanted to buy Rishabh Pant but could not–
Mumbai Indians were the first to submit a bid for Rishabh Pant when the auctioneer announced his name in the auction. The then wicket-keeper of the Indian U19 team had a very low base price because he was not that big a name in world cricket in 2016.
Since the Mumbai-based franchise had Parthiv Patel and Ambati Rayudu in their squad already, they did not want to splurge a lot of money to secure Rishabh Pant’s services. They took the bidding war above the 1 Crore INR mark but soon withdrew.
Now that Mumbai Indians have Ishan Kishan in their squad, they would not be regretting much as Kishan, just like Pant, is an aggressive left-handed wicket-keeper batsman.
Rising Pune Supergiant
The fans could have seen MS Dhoni and Rishabh Pant play together in the IPL had Rising Pune Supergiant signed him in the auction. They fought a bidding war with Mumbai Indians in the early phase of Rishabh’s auction however, they soon quit the race.
As mentioned before, Pune had the services of MS Dhoni in the wicket-keeping department. Besides, they had a stellar batting unit consisting of Faf du Plessis, Kevin Pietersen, Steve Smith, Ajinkya Rahane and Saurabh Tiwary.
Thus, the team management would have thought that Rishabh would have been surplus to the team. But, by the 2016 season ended, Pune had lost Pietersen, du Plessis and Smith to injury. Thus, Pant could have been a valuable addition to the squad.
Royal Challengers Bangalore
Royal Challengers Bangalore already had the quartet of KL Rahul, Chris Gayle, Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers in their team. It would have been incredible had they grabbed Rishabh Pant in the 2016 auction because not only is he a big hitter but the pitch at the Chinnaswamy Stadium would assist him a lot.
RCB joined the race to sign Pant after Rising Pune Supergiant quit. They submitted their bid at Rs 1 Crore 80 Lakhs to gain Pant’s services but Delhi Daredevils (now known as Delhi Capitals) outbid them with a bid of 1 Crore 90 Lakhs.
Bangalore did not heat the race as Delhi got Pant in their squad eventually. Ahead of IPL 2018, Delhi Capitals retained him for a price of 15 Crores INR. This shows how much Pant has evolved over the years and the aforementioned three teams, especially RCB would regret a lot for letting Pant go for such a cheap price.
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