Rishabh Pant in doubt for Indian Premier League
A day after Rishabh Pant miraculously survived when he crashed his Mercedes into a divider on an Uttarakhand highway, it appears that he could be out of action for several months.
Pant’s MRI of the brain and spine are normal and he also underwent plastic surgery on his forehead on Saturday at the Max Hospital in Dehradun. However, it is the ligament injuries on his right knee that is likely to keep him away from the field.
The medical team of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is monitoring the progress of the 25-year-old wicketkeeper-batter and could fly him to Delhi or Mumbai when he is in a position to move.
The BCCI has said that it will see to it that Pant receives the best possible treatment and gets all the support needed to come out of this traumatic phase. It is understood that the exact nature of treatment and the time needed for recovery and rehab can be calculated only after the treatment to his ligament tear starts.
Pant will have to recover fully from his external injuries before the ligament is taken care of by the BCCI’s medical team. The Board’s statement on Friday said he “has also hurt his right wrist, ankle, toe and has suffered abrasion injuries on his back.”
Besides missing the Test series versus Australia in February at home, he is also expected to be out of action for the IPL, which begins in April.
Pant has been leading Delhi Capitals for the past two seasons.
None in the franchise was willing to talk about the captaincy issue following Pant’s likely unavailability but it wouldn’t come as a surprise if David Warner is handed over the leadership role in the absence of experienced alternatives.
Warner has led Sunrisers Hyderabad in the past and the franchise will take a call soon after consultations with head coach Ricky Ponting.
Another option for the Capitals will be Prithvi Shaw, who has led India’s U-19 side to the World Cup title. The 23-yearold, however, has never led a franchise in the IPL before but has the experience with the Mumbai team in domestic cricket. Mumbai won the Vijay Hazare Trophy under his captaincy in 2020-21.
The Capitals squad also includes experienced players like Anrich Nortje, Ishant Sharma and Mitchell Marsh. But Warner is the best available under the circumstances unless the team management decides to hand over the captaincy to Shaw.