Viv Richards Picks Delhi Star Batsman as Standout Player of IPL

Rishabh Pant’s explosive batting in the 11th edition of the Indian Premier League, despite his team’s poor performance, has not gone unnoticed as he was recently praised by former West Indies captain and legend Viv Richards.

Cricket news: Happy to see how Chennai and Rajasthan fought hard to come back, says Viv Richards

Pant came second in the list of run-scorers as he scored 684 runs in 14 games and received twin awards of Emerging Player and Stylish Player of the Tournament, after Chennai Super Kings beat Sunrisers Hyderabad by eight wickets in the final.

Richards, while writing in his column for Monday’s Times of India, said how he was impressed by Pant despite his team Delhi Daredevils failed to make the playoffs and finished at the bottom of the table.

“Delhi’s Rishabh Pant has evolved as the new power hitter in the game and has also been smart with his batting when his team needed him. Each player plays a crucial role and some players have stood out in this edition. Rashid Khan, for instance, has not failed to impress along with KL Rahul and Ambati Rayudu who have been equally sensational. Narine, Raina and Russell, like every season, have done what they do best,” Richards wrote.

“IPL 2018 was all about the young talent stepping up and leading from the front as and when their teams needed them to. K Gowtham and Shreyas Gopal have been fantastic with their all-round performances for the Royals and have helped them win games on numerous occasions. Siddarth Kaul has taken the words of his mentors and perfected his death over spells.”

Richards also praised Chennai and Rajasthan for making a brilliant comeback in the IPL after having served two years ban due to off-field activities.

He also praised all the captains, especially tournament’s highest run-getter New Zealander Kane Williamson, who took his team Sunrisers Hyderabad to the finals with his 735 runs which included eight half-centuries.

“Everyone witnessed pulsating action in all facets of the game, all along. Eight teams fought hard on the pitch, and deservingly, the top two sides muscled their way to the final. While some of the big names in the game didn’t live up to the expectations, there have been some exhilarating performances as well. Each and every moment of the season kept the fans on the edge of their seats,” Richards pointed out.

“Rajasthan and Chennai didn’t seem to miss much in the two years that they were away from the IPL; both teams came back with a mission and managed to finish in the top four. Not only have we got to see teams working really well together, but the skippers of each team have been fabulous. Kane Williamson, for example, has been a great leader and as an added bonus, has put the most runs on the board this season. Dinesh Karthik has done the same by stepping up when Kolkata needed him the most and not to forget about the young Shreyas Iyer, who brought back much-needed hope to the Delhi side.”

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