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Abhishek Porel delivers as impact sub for Delhi Capitals in IPL 2024

Having been drafted in as Rishabh Pant’s replacement in 2023, the 21-year-old is keen to pick the Delhi skipper’s brains this season

In his first IPL season in 2023, Bengal’s Abishek Porel scored 33 runs across four matches for Delhi Capitals. On Saturday, in Delhi’s opening game of IPL 2024, the 21-year-old almost matched that tally in just 10 deliveries, making an unbeaten 32 after coming in at No.9 as an impact sub. The cameo helped Delhi post a competitive total of 174/9 against Punjab Kings.

Delhi Capitals’ Abhishek Porel bats during the Indian Premier League cricket tournament match between Delhi Capitals and Punjab Kings in Mullanpur, Punjab, India, Saturday, March 23, 2024. (AP Photo/Pankaj Nangia)(AP)

Porel is a young wicketkeeper-batter who is very much learning at this level. But his promise can be gleaned from the fact that he was drafted into the Capitals squad last season as a replacement for the then-injured Rishabh Pant.

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Despite the subpar returns in his limited appearances in 2023, Porel may have benefitted from a debut season that he describes as an “amazing experience”. That he is getting to pick skipper Pant’s brains this season should only help the left-hand batter.

“Rishabh bhaiya is a really chilled out guy. He is a lot of fun but also fully focussed during practice. I have been talking to him and wherever I feel I need improvement in my game, I have been discussing it with him,” Porel said in an interview before the beginning of the IPL campaign.

DC vs PBKS IPL 2024 match highlights

“I asked him about his approach while finishing a match, what shots to play in what situation, which bowler to pick. Then I try to implement the things I learnt in the nets while thinking of a match situation with a certain field setting,” Porel added.

Having had a strike rate of 106.45 last season, Porel’s display on Saturday suggests he has been working on his power game and finishing skills. He has managed to even seek MS Dhoni’s advice about the key to batting in the slog overs.

“I also asked Mahi bhai about how he finishes the game. He advised to take the game till the end, pick a bowler, see the areas where you can hit and then go after him. He also advised me to be fully focused during training because what I do there will help me on the field,” added Porel, whose favourite wicketkeeper-batter is Adam Gilchrist.

With Pant back, Porel doesn’t have a chance of donning the keeping gloves this season. There’s also considerable competition in the lower middle-order with the likes of Ricky Bhui, Tristan Stubbs, Kumar Kushagra and Lalit Yadav being among the options available, but Porel’s impactful beginning may just pave the way for more chances. Porel is ready to do as the team demands.

“My only aim is to help the team win. I am focused on that. If I get the chance I will perform and show. I will do whatever suits the team. I am just focused on how I can improve my game,” said Porel. “We are all together, we are a team. There is no competition.”

Before joining the Delhi team in the IPL, Porel had a decent season in the Ranji Trophy with 377 runs at an average of 41.88, which included a maiden first-class century.

“I was working on my red-ball game. Obviously, getting a century is a good thing because two years back, my red-ball season didn’t go well. So, I was focused on performing this season. It helped my confidence as a batter. The process I followed during Ranji Trophy, I will do the same in IPL,” he said.


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