Rishabh Pant is getting ready to make his return to the Indian cricket team, likely through the T20I series against Afghanistan. He had a tough time due to a car accident in December 2022, which left him with several injuries, including a knee problem. After undergoing surgeries and going through rehab, he’s on the path to recovery.
Pant was expected to play in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, but he’s not completely fit yet. However, he’s been practicing batting and keeping wickets, which is a positive sign. In August, he even played in a local tournament. But he still needs some more time before returning to domestic cricket.
Unfortunately, Pant won’t be part of India’s tour to South Africa in December this year. The selectors want to see him perform well at the domestic level before considering him for the national team.
There’s a possibility that Pant might make a comeback during the Vijay Hazare Trophy, set to take place from November to December. A BCCI official mentioned that if Pant does well in domestic cricket, he could make his return during the T20I series against Afghanistan in January 2024.
For that series, it’s expected that a second-string Indian team will play, as some key players like Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, and Jasprit Bumrah might be absent. If Rohit is not available, Hardik Pandya could lead the team. The series is scheduled for January 11, 14, and 17 in Mohali, Indore, and Bengaluru, respectively.
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If Pant successfully returns in early 2024, he’ll likely participate in the IPL. He missed the 2023 season, and his absence was felt by the Delhi Capitals, who struggled without their regular wicketkeeper-captain and finished 9th in the points table.