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Rishabh Pant fires cryptic post hours before DC vs RCB after being slapped with one-match ban

Axar Patel had captained Delhi Capitals against Royal Challengers Bengaluru.

Delhi Capitals’ season in the 2024 Indian Premier League may have been a bit of a roller-coaster ride but their captain Rishabh Pant has been quite remarkable on an individual basis. The tournament marks Pant’s return to top-level competitive cricket after a car crash in late December 2022 and the subsequent recovery forced him to sit out for well over a year. Pant had played every match for DC this season as their captain and wicketkeeper-batter until, finally, that streak was broken on Sunday.

The 2024 season of the IPL marks Rishabh Pant’s return to top-level competitive cricket. (PTI)

Pant was suspended and also fined INR 30 lakh for the Code of Conduct breach during DC’s 20-run win against Rajasthan Royals on Tuesday. DC were 10 minutes behind time at the start of the final over in the RR game. It meant that DC were without their captain for the match against Royal Challengers Bengaluru (RCB). They went on to lose the match by 47 runs, a result that puts a serious dent in their chances of making it to the IPL playoffs.

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Just hours before the start of the match on Sunday, Pant put up a cryptic post on his Instagram stories. It was a screenshot of a quote that said “The only thing we have power over in the universe is our own thoughts.” Pant added to that by saying, “Can’t say much.”

All-rounder Axar Patel led DC in Pant’s absence. Axar said at the toss that Pant was angry with the ban. “Rishabh was angry about being banned, bowlers are late but the captain gets punished. But he’s at the ground, is motivated and has told us not to feel like he’s not with us and focus on the process,” said Axar.

DC crumble against RCB

They bowled first and paid the price for several dropped catches in the beginning. DC however managed to restrict RCB below 190 by keeping things tight in the death overs and were left with a target of 188 to chase. However, the Capitals’ chase descended into disarray once they lost four wickets inside 3.3 overs upfront, eventually finishing at 140, with Axar Patel 57 (39b, 5×4, 3×6) playing a lone hand.

RCB now have 12 points from 13 matches – same as the Capitals – and need a win against Chennai Super Kings in the last league match here on May 18 to push their case for a playoff berth. The Capitals also need a win in their final league game against Lucknow Super Giants on May 14 to stay in the hunt.


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