Rohit Sharma, the Indian white-ball vice-captain, backed young Rishabh Pant to do well and asked the media to not put too much pressure on the young wicketkeeper-batsman, who is making his comeback in the Indian limited-overs team.
Rishabh Pant had last played a white-ball match for India in 2020, which was an ODI against Australia and he was ruled out of the remaining matches due to concussion issues. However, there were rumors of his poor form with the bat and fitness issues as well, and India moved onto KL Rahul as wicketkeeper for New Zealand and Australia tours.
However, Rishabh Pant came back into contention for the upcoming five T20Is against England on the back of some sublime knocks in Test cricket, first against Australia where he hit 97 in Sydney Test and a match-winning 89* in Brisbane, which helped India win the four-Test series 2-1.
Then against England he hit a brilliant 101 in the 4th and deciding Test match, helping India win the match and series 3-1 and qualifying for the final of the ICC World Test Championship.
Rishabh Pant Can Only Go From Strength To Strength From Here: Rohit Sharma
Rohit Sharma backed Rishabh Pant to replicate his Test match performances against England in the T20I series which begins March 12 and will be played entirely at the Motera Stadium in Ahmedabad.
“Let Rishabh Pant be Rishabh Pant, he will come out and give you those performances. I have said in the past as well that leave Rishabh Pant alone and he will give you those performances. He can only go from strength to strength from here. There is no looking back for him. He has done exceptionally well in the last few months from Australia to the home series that we just played against England,” said Rohit in a virtual press conference on Wednesday.
Rishabh Pant Likes To Enjoy His Game, Has Begun Understanding The Game Situation: Rohit Sharma
Rohit Sharma further said that the team management fully backs Rishabh Pant’s batting style and has given him the freedom to do whatever he wants in the middle with the willow. He also lauded the youngster for understanding the game conditions and situations and molding his gameplay accordingly.
“I don’t see anything stopping him unless we try and put pressure on him. We, as in, you guys, I think it’s important for him to let him be himself. He likes to enjoy his game. You must have seen it on the ground, how he likes to play his game.
And that is what we as team management and teammates expect from him too: to just be out there, enjoy the game, and do what he likes to do. The good thing right now is he has started to understand the game situation. This is another series for him that will take his confidence a notch higher if he keeps performing in the same manner. He needs to be given that freedom,” Rohit added.
The upcoming T20I series will be a perfect audition for the Men in Blue to test out waters before finalizing on their squad for the T20 World Cup at home.