Having been "fortunate to have a second life", Pant said the biggest lesson he has learned from this experience is to always have self-belief.
Riding on strokeful fifties by all-rounders Yuvraj Singh and Moises Henriques, followed by an impressive bowling attack, defending champions Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) begun their IPL 2017 campaign with a thumping 35-run win over Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) on Wednesday.
Chasing a tough target of 208 runs, no batsman from RCB managed to put a substantial knock and they were allout for 172 runs in 19.2 overs at Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium, Uppal, Hyderabad.
The opening pair of Chris Gayle and Mandeep Singh tried to start briskly though were sent back to pavilion in first seven overs on 32 and 24 runs respectively.
Travis Head (30) and wicketkeeper-batsman Kedar Jadhav (31) lighted some hopes in the middle-order, however, they too failed miserably midway.
For SRH, debutant Afghan leg-spinner Rashid Khan led the bowling attack as he claimed two big wickets. Part-time spinners Deepak Hooda and Bipul Sharma took the scalp of Gayle and Sachin Baby (1) respectively to join the carnival.
Pacemen Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Ashish Nehra struck late in 17th and 18th over respectively. Bhuvneshwar claimed the scalp of Sturat Binny (11), while Nehra dismissed RCB skipper Shane Watson (22) and Sreenath Aravind (0) in back-to-back deliveries.
With this, the 37-year-old warhorse Nehra became the first left-hander to claim 100 IPL wickets.
Bhuvneshwar later dismissed Tymal Mills (6) in the 19th over to claim his second wicket.
In the absence of top guns Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers, Watson-led RCB made an unimpressive start in the IPL 2017 as earlier in SRH innings also their fielding appeared sluggish at times.
SRH’s innings were well-built by all-rounders Yuvraj and Henriques, who smashed 62 and 52 runs, batting at the middle-order.
En route, Yuvraj struck his fastest fifty in the IPL, off just 23 balls. His previous fastest was off 24 balls, twice, both of them came against RCB.
The Australian all-rounder Henriques lifted the home crowd off their feet with his 37-ball 52 runs, which were decorated by three boundaries and two sky-scrapping sixes.
With opener Shikhar Dhawan (40), Henriques put highest 74-run partnership knock for the second-wicket partnership.
Meanwhile, Dhawan was in great form in the recently concluded Deodhar Trophy. In his last three matches before IPL 2017, he scored an aggregate of 223 runs in the 50-over Deodhar Trophy tournament.
The 31-year-old southpaw hitter laid a strong foundation for SRH after the dismissal of their captain David Warner (14). With the help of 5 boundaries, he smashed causative 40 runs at a strike rate of 129.03.
RCB pacer Stuart Binny trapped the big fish in the 11th over as Dhawan lost his control and lofted it towards long-on, where Sachin took a clean catch.
Besides Binny, Aniket Choudhary and Tymal Mills were other successful pacers for RCB, claiming one wicket each. Spinner Yuzvendra Chahal dismissed Henriques to join the bowling attack.