Former Australia captain, Ian Chappell heaps rich praise on Rishabh Pant for his ‘mature counterattacking’ knocks he played in Sydney, Brisbane, and in Ahmedabad, with India winning the last two out of those. The left-hander not only avoided a loss but put the opposition on the backfoot.
In a space of a few Tests, Pant has not only cemented himself in the Test side but has also made a comeback in the limited-overs team.
Ian Chappell points out that Pant has worked hard on his fitness ahead of the Australia tour, as was revealed by coach Ravi Shastri. Chappell asserts the 23-year-old has played 3 match-changing knocks in a couple of series – most players couldn’t do it in their entire careers. He mentions Pant’s counter-attacks were aggressive but calculated and smart in the way he went in his innings.
“Pant was read the riot act in Australia when he turned up overweight. He then “worked his backside off”, according to the coach, and was reinstated in the team after the Indian debacle at Adelaide Oval. What followed has been a revelation. Pant has produced three innings that changed the course of a Test with mature counterattacking when the team was in trouble. Most players don’t contribute that many in a career,” Ian Chappell wrote in his column for ESPNcricinfo.
“Pant was scared of… well, nothing actually. The chirpy Indian keeper, armed with a supremely confident disposition, played each innings balancing aggression with appropriate caution. His approach of “see the ball and hit it” is a simple one but it’s fortified by the common-sense approach of always looking for opportunities to score,” he added.
Rishabh Pant’s spirit epitomises the team’s confident, attacking approach to the game: Ian Chappell
The 77-year-old also credits the leadership group comprising the coach, captain, and vice-captain for creating a positive environment for the youngster, who not long ago struggled with form and fitness. Ian Chappell opines that Rishabh Pant’s attitude, his fearless approach reflects that Team India as well.
“Not content with just batting heroics, Pant has also evolved as a keeper when standing up to the spinners, going from fumbling to fabulous in the space of a few weeks. Pant is a popular player in the Indian side and his spirit epitomises the team’s confident, attacking approach to the game.
“In modern India, the players are more confident and aggressive. This attitude is boosted further on reaching the international arena by the positive encouragement of the leadership group of Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, and Ravi Shastri. Then there’s the IPL. It has resulted in Indian players being exposed to more international thinking and training, which has had a positive effect on both cricketers and coaches,” Ian Chappell further added.