It’s been nearly a decade since the Indian cricket team won an ICC event. And as the team gears up for the T20 World Cup, to be played in Australia in October-November this year, Rishabh Pant admits that even though there is ‘slight’ nervousness, the side will give its 100 per cent to achieve success.
“Especially with the World Cup around the corner, the whole team is slightly nervous, but at the same time, as a team, we love to give our 100 per cent and focus on our process. That’s the only thing we can do… we give our 100 per cent as individuals and as a team,” Pant said on Wednesday at an event organised by Visit Victoria, the tourism board of the State of Victoria.
In the last edition of the T20 World Cup in 2016, India lost against the West Indies in the semifinals and this time around, the team wants to break the jinx. “Hopefully we’ll reach the final and do the best for the team,” Pant said, “As (a part of) the Indian team, we’d love to have as many supporters as we can in Australia to back us. Every cheer counts for us. It makes us believe that we can win.
Pant has fond memories of playing in Australia as his crucial contribution guided the Indian Test team to clinch a series last year. “It’s one of my favourite moments in my cricketing career so far. I’m glad that I could help my team cross the line that day and have that amazing Test match and series win,” Pant reminisced.
Having played enough cricket Down Under, Pant also spoke highly of the Melbourne Cricket Ground, which will host the India vs Pakistan clash in the T20 World Cup. “I think it’s an amazing atmosphere, playing at the MCG because it’s one of the most iconic cricket stadiums around the world. So, I would love to play there. Especially the Indian crowd there is brilliant for us,” he said.
A foodie, Pant is keen to explore Melbourne and Victoria during the tournament. “I’d love to explore Melbourne more, see the forests and beaches. There are so many teammates of mine whom I’d love to take with me (to explore)… Avesh Khan, Ishan Kishan, Shubhman Gill, maybe Rohit bhai also…”