New Delhi, June 12: With Rishabh Pant set to join the Indian team in the UK for the World Cup as cover for an injured Shikhar Dhawan, funny posts filled social media, with fans posting tongue-in-cheek pictorial messages as to how the youngster was waiting for his chance with bated breath. Pant was initially ignored as Dinesh Karthik was picked in the 15-member WC squad, triggering mixed reactions from experts as well as fans. ICC Cricket World Cup 2019: Rishabh Pant to Fly in As Cover For Shikhar Dhawan.
Former India skipper Sourav Ganguly had said that Virat Kohli and Co. would miss the big-hitting wicketkeeper-batsman in the mega event after his exploits for Delhi Capitals in the Indian Premier League (IPL) enhanced his reputation as a match winner. ICC Cricket World Cup 2019: Shikhar Dhawan's Injury, Weather Pose Challenge for Team India Against New Zealand.
Pant scored 488 runs in 16 matches including three half-centuries in the IPL. While the team management felt he is still not ready for the biggest stage, Pant made no bones about the fact that the World Cup was on his mind during the IPL.
Now with Dhawan fracturing his thumb during India's second World Cup assignment against Australia, the doors have opened for the 21-year-old stumper-batsman. Pant is yet to be named as a replacement for Dhawan as the BCCI is still hopeful that the India opener will recover from his injury in two to three weeks.
BCCI To Rishabh Pant
With Shikhar Dhawan gone, BCCI to Rishabh Pant: pic.twitter.com/v71Sif41EY
— Jagriti Gambhir (@iamjagriti_) June 11, 2019
Rishabh Pant Right Now
— Yash Tiwari (@YashTiw49897767) June 11, 2019
— Mayur Patil (@iMayuuR) June 11, 2019
— Hiren (@Havenians) June 11, 2019
Moments after Pant's name surfaced, Twitter was awash with memes such as "Why do you think I came all this way?" which is a famous dialogue from popular HBO TV series Game of Thrones which ended recently.
A picture of Pant running to catch a flight also went viral as were few others with a baby winking and a dialogue from a Bollywood movie "Hum Saath Saath Hain" which says "ye sach hai ki bhagwan hai (it's true that God exists)". Pant has so far played five ODIs and scored 93 runs at an average of 23.25.