Nidahas Trophy 2018

If Rishabh Pant wants to go to the World Cup, he needs to show he’s more than just brawn

Pant can be a part of Virat Kohli’s squad for the World Cup in England if he makes the most of the opportunities he gets now.

India currently enjoys the services of two of the best wicket-keepers in the world – with the underrated Wriddhiman Saha keeping wickets for India in whites and the charismatic Mahendra Singh Dhoni manning the stumps when the team wears blue.

Technically, Saha’s considered the best in the country and that makes him the automatic choice in Tests. And, Saha, at 33, will have at least a few more years in him.

But in the limited overs, after Dhoni retires (most likely after the 2019 World Cup), India might struggle to replace him. Even for the World Cup it isn’t fully certain who’ll be his back up.

With the tournament just a year away, Dinesh Karthik and Rishabh Pant – India’s current keeping reinforcements – won’t get too many opportunities to establish themselves and that is why they must make the most of the few chances they get before the quadrennial event.

With Dhoni absent for the ongoing Nidahas Trophy, both have made the playing XI in both the games played so far. And, India have decided to hand over the wicket-keeping duties to Karthik, picking Pant purely as a batsman. But, as in his previous two T20Is, Pant hasn’t been able to fire.

In the defeat to Sri Lanka in the first T20I, Pant came in at five in the 13th over. He struggled, especially against spin, failed to connect the big shots and ended up making a run-a-ball 23.

On Tuesday, chasing Bangladesh’s meagre total of 139, Pant was sent in at three after skipper Rohit Sharma fell in the fourth over. Sans pressure, with a lot of time left, on a good pitch, Pant could’ve used the opportunity to settle in before unleashing the big shots to guide his team to triumph. A delightful lofted stroke over mid-on off an overpitched Mustafizur delivery, just the second ball he faced, showed promise. But, five balls later, he disappointed, dragging a Rubel Hossain delivery back on to his stumps.

In his first two international outings, he made an unbeaten three-ball five and a 35-ball 38 in a high-scoring contest against West Indies.

Four matches in the time-curtailed T20 format are too less to analyse Pant’s struggles in the international stage. But he’d be better off batting in the top-order despite Tuesday’s failure.

Of his 41 T20 innings, Pant has opened the batting in 14 of them, scoring 515 runs at an average 39.6 at a strike rate of over 180. He’s made five fifties and a hundred (the second-fastest in T20 that came off 32 balls for Delhi against Himachal Pradesh) batting at positions one and two. His collective average and strike-rate in positions three to seven is inferior in comparison.

With Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul in the squad it’s highly unlikely that Pant will get a chance to open in this tournament. But the next time he gets to bat at three after an opener’s quick departure, Pant will do well to make a big score that will serve as a testimonial to his talent.

It’s not that Pant won’t get a chance to become a prominent member of the national side if he fails further in this tournament. He’s just 20 and four T20Is old in international cricket. Opportunities might knock his door more than once. But if he makes the ones he’s getting now count, he’ll probably get to be a part of Virat Kohli’s squad for the World Cup in England next year.

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Following a mountaineer as he reaches the summit of Mount Everest

Accounts from Vikas Dimri’s second attempt reveal the immense fortitude and strength needed to summit the Everest.

Vikas Dimri made a huge attempt last year to climb the Mount Everest. Fate had other plans. Thwarted by unfavourable weather at the last minute, he came so close and yet not close enough to say he was at the top. But that did not deter him. Vikas is back on the Everest trail now, and this time he’s sharing his experiences at every leg of the journey.

The Everest journey began from the Lukla airport, known for its dicey landing conditions. It reminded him of the failed expedition, but he still moved on to Namche Bazaar - the staging point for Everest expeditions - with a positive mind. Vikas let the wisdom of the mountains guide him as he battled doubt and memories of the previous expedition. In his words, the Everest taught him that, “To conquer our personal Everest, we need to drop all our unnecessary baggage, be it physical or mental or even emotional”.

Vikas used a ‘descent for ascent’ approach to acclimatise. In this approach, mountaineers gain altitude during the day, but descend to catch some sleep. Acclimatising to such high altitudes is crucial as the lack of adequate oxygen can cause dizziness, nausea, headache and even muscle death. As Vikas prepared to scale the riskiest part of the climb - the unstable and continuously melting Khumbhu ice fall - he pondered over his journey so far.

His brother’s diagnosis of a heart condition in his youth was a wakeup call for the rather sedentary Vikas, and that is when he started focusing on his health more. For the first time in his life, he began to appreciate the power of nutrition and experimented with different diets and supplements for their health benefits. His quest for better health also motivated him to take up hiking, marathon running, squash and, eventually, a summit of the Everest.

Back in the Himalayas, after a string of sleepless nights, Vikas and his team ascended to Camp 2 (6,500m) as planned, and then descended to Base Camp for the basic luxuries - hot shower, hot lunch and essential supplements. Back up at Camp 2, the weather played spoiler again as a jet stream - a fast-flowing, narrow air current - moved right over the mountain. Wisdom from the mountains helped Vikas maintain perspective as they were required to descend 15km to Pheriche Valley. He accepted that “strength lies not merely in chasing the big dream, but also in...accepting that things could go wrong.”

At Camp 4 (8,000m), famously known as the death zone, Vikas caught a clear glimpse of the summit – his dream standing rather tall in front of him.

It was the 18th of May 2018 and Vikas finally reached the top. The top of his Everest…the top of Mount Everest!

Watch the video below to see actual moments from Vikas’ climb.


Vikas credits his strength to dedication, exercise and a healthy diet. He credits dietary supplements for helping him sustain himself in the inhuman conditions on Mount Everest. On heights like these where the oxygen supply drops to 1/3rd the levels on the ground, the body requires 3 times the regular blood volume to pump the requisite amount of oxygen. He, thus, doesn’t embark on an expedition without double checking his supplements and uses Livogen as an aid to maintain adequate amounts of iron in his blood.

Livogen is proud to have supported Vikas Dimri on his ambitious quest and salutes his spirit. To read more about the benefits of iron, see here. To read Vikas Dimri’s account of his expedition, click here.

This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Livogen and not by the Scroll editorial team.