Mumbai: Ahead of the Indian Premier League 2021 season, England batsman Sam Billings has lauded his skipper Rishabh Pant and said the 23-year-old is probably the best young player he has ever seen.
Billings, who was part of the Delhi franchise in IPL 2016 and IPL 2017, returned to the Delhi camp after being acquired by the side for his base price of Rs 2 crore in the IPL auction in February.
The English wicketkeeper-batsman, who has scored 3,527 runs, taken 107 catches and effected 17 stumpings in 187 T20I matches, expressed that he is very excited to be a part of the Delhi Capitals unit for the 2021 edition.
“It’s great to be back at the IPL. There are a great group of players and the DC camp has been very welcoming. I am very excited to be here,” he said in a Delhi Capitals release.
Billings, who spent a considerable amount of time with Pant during his previous stint with the franchise, recounted his first-ever experience of watching Pant bat.
“I remember the first time I saw Rishabh play. We had a middle practice, and he was hitting bowlers like Chris Morris, Nathan Coulter-Nile and lot of other bowlers everywhere and then I asked Rahul Dravid (then Delhi franchise mentor), ‘Who is this guy?’ And now we all know who Rishabh Pant is and I actually said back then that he’s probably the best young player I have ever seen. We have seen what he does on a regular basis in the India shirt and also in the Delhi shirt. I am really happy for him and he will go from strength to strength,” said Billings.
The 29-year-old is hoping to win the IPL 2021 with the Delhi Capitals this year.
“I love the IPL. It’s one of the best competitions in the world and the buzz around the IPL is something that you can’t get anywhere else in the world, so I am just looking forward to playing in the tournament again. My game has improved a lot since I last played for Delhi. Hopefully, we can kick-on as a group and win the competition this year,” he said.
Delhi Capitals on Tuesday announced Pant as the captain of the side for the tournament which gets underway from April 9. Pant will step in as captain for the 14th edition of the tournament after regular skipper Shreyas Iyer hurt his left shoulder during the recently-concluded India-England ODI series.
Delhi Capitals will take on Chennai Super Kings in their first match of the IPL 2021 season, at the Wankhede Stadium, in Mumbai on April 10.