Former Indian cricketer-turned commentator VVS Laxman has picked wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant as the ‘undisputed star’ of what was a memorable season of international cricket for the Virat Kohli-led Indian Cricket Team.
Rishabh Pant unarguably enjoyed a fairytale last four months in international cricket during which he took giant strides both as a batsman but more importantly as a wicketkeeper.
Having been ignored for the white-ball fixtures against Australia at the start of the season and then dropped from the opening Test at the Adelaide Oval, Rishabh Pant made a stunning comeback as he smashed a near match-winning 97 in the fourth innings of the Sydney Test before following it up with a series-winning 89* as India chased down 328 at the Gabba.
Pant wasn’t done yet. He carried his form into the England series on home soil. The 23-year-old southpaw smashed two whirlwind half-centuries and then followed it up with a maniac Test hundred in what turned out to be a series-winning knock during the first innings of the fourth Test in Ahmedabad.
His form in Test cricket earned him a recall to the white-ball set-ups and Pant did not disappoint as he smashed consecutive half-centuries in the ODI series against England.
Apart from his brilliant batting exploits, what was heartening to see, as VVS Laxman mentioned in his column for the Times of India, was the giant strides that Rishabh Pant took as a wicketkeeper.
On what were extremely challenging tracks during the Test series against England, Rishabh Pant looked completely at ease and was scarcely troubled by the turn or unpredictable bounce.
”The undisputed star of the show, across formats, has to be Rishabh Pant. His growing maturity and situational awareness manifested itself each time he batted. Equally significantly, I am amazed at the grand strides he has made as a wicketkeeper, especially on difficult pitches at home against England during the Tests when he was scarcely troubled by appreciable turn and unpredictable bounce,” VVS Laxman wrote in his column for Times of India.