Pant: ‘At this age, I am trying to learn from everywhere’

Rishabh Pant didn’t have a great domestic season but that didn't stop Daredevils from splurging on him, retaining Pant for Rs 15 crores, but the youngster is under no pressure to perform or justify his heavy tag.

Rishabh Pant with Delhi Daredevils coach Ricky Ponting.   -  Special Arrangement

The smile said it all. “Cricket is a gentleman’s game and should be played in that spirit,” Rishabh Pant said in the first official media interaction for Delhi Daredevils at the Ferozeshah Kotla here on Friday, but more than the words, it was the expression of helpless sarcasm that found its mark.

The response was to a question on getting to learn about player behaviour and what not to do after the recent events on the cricket field. As a member of the Indian team at the recent Nidahas Trophy, Pant had a ringside view of the controversy during the Bangladesh-Sri Lanka game.

“At this young age, I am trying to learn from everywhere. You always get to learn something from everyone around. I have spoken to my coach Tarak Sinha a lot, spoke to Ravi Shastri during the recent series and am trying to implement all that in my game. I have worked on my skill and fitness, let's see how it works out,” the 20-year old Pant said.

He didn’t have a great domestic season but that didn't stop Daredevils from splurging on him, retaining Pant for Rs 15 crores, but the youngster is under no pressure to perform or justify his heavy tag. “I am just working hard on my game and perform like I did last year, there is no pressure. I am playing this game to do well for myself and my team. You learn a lot from your failures and I will also try to come back harder. As a player, our focus always on cricket only,” he added.

Having played for a large part of his career so for under Rahul Dravid's mentorship, Pant admitted things are different under new coach Ricky Ponting, but in a good way. “Coaches help in the mindset and approach but, at the end of day, it is up to the players how they give their 100 percent.

“For me, the best thing about anyone is the vibe you get from them and so far, there have been very positive vibes from Ricky sir. Also, Gautam (Gambhir) always wants to win and with Ponting, it is the same frame of mind. We have been unlucky in close games in the past seasons but I feel it might be different this time,” he said.