Rishabh Pant likely to make India Return via T20I series against Afghanistan

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Rishabh Pant encountered a significant setback in December 2022 when he was involved in a near-fatal car accident, resulting in several injuries, including a knee injury. This unfortunate incident compelled him to take an extended break from the game of Cricket. Following the accident, Pant underwent multiple surgeries and embarked on a rehabilitation journey.

Encouragingly, the cricketer has made a remarkable recovery. According to recent reports, he is on the verge of regaining full fitness and is poised to make a comeback to the Indian team during the ODI series against Afghanistan.

Hailing from Uttarakhand, Pant had initially been anticipated to participate in the ongoing Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, but his fitness was not yet at the required level to join the action. Nonetheless, he commenced his batting and wicket-keeping activities, clear indicators of his ongoing recuperation. In August of the same year, he even took part in a local tournament. However, the 26-year-old batter still requires some additional time before he can participate in domestic-level matches.

Unfortunately, Rishabh Pant has been ruled out of India’s all-format tour to South Africa in December of the current year. It is imperative for the wicketkeeper-batsman to prove his fitness at the domestic level before he can be considered eligible for representing India.

There have been indications that Rishabh Pant might make his return to competitive cricket during the Vijay Hazare Trophy, scheduled to take place from November to December. A BCCI official has hinted that if Pant displays positive signs in domestic cricket during this period, his return to the Indian team could become a reality, possibly in the series against Afghanistan scheduled for January 2024.

The Afghanistan Cricket Team is set to tour India for a 3-match T20I series, and a second-string Indian team is expected to participate. Notable players like Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, and Jasprit Bumrah may be absent from these matches. In Rohit’s absence, Hardik Pandya is likely to lead the Indian side. The series is scheduled to take place in Mohali, Indore, and Bengaluru on January 11, 14, and 17, respectively.

Should Rishabh Pant successfully return in early 2024, his participation in the IPL is anticipated. Pant missed the 2023 IPL season, and in his absence, David Warner assumed the role of captain for the Delhi Capitals. However, the team felt the void created by the absence of their keeper-captain as their middle order weakened, leading to a ninth-place finish on the points table in 2023.

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