Former India batsman VVS Laxman is expecting Rishabh Pant to bat in his natural style, as he has been given the license by the management, on Day 3 of the ongoing Nottingham Test. However, he also cautioned the youngsters to take calculative risks as the conditions are stalked up against the batsmen.
The game hangs in balance as India trail by 58 runs after England stormed back in the game with 4 wickets following a 97-run opening stand between Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul, who is still at the crease and has notched up a fifty on his return to the Test eleven.
Rahul has batted cautiously, and also helped by some luck as he was dropped by Dom Sibley in slips, to make his half-century in trying conditions and against a strong pace attack.
“I think I expect both of them to continue the way they are playing. With KL Rahul, he would be lucky that Dom Sibley dropped him, which I thought should have been taken at the second slip,” VVS Laxman told ESPNcricinfo.
“Rishabh Pant will play his natural game. He has been given the license by the team management to play his natural game. Because once he backs his natural instincts, that’s when Rishabh Pant is the most dangerous batsman he can be,” he added.
Playing your natural game does not mean throwing your bat at everything: VVS Laxman
Speaking more about Rishabh Pant, VVS Laxman was unimpressed with the left-hander’s way of handling James Anderson early on in his innings. Not only Pant flailed his bat to the deliveries outside off – missing some, connecting a few – he also charged down to Anderson, who was on song, on only his fourth ball. Pant also could have lost his wicket had that mishit landed near any fielder.
VVS Laxman recalled how the southpaw got out in a similar manner in the WTC final; he hopes the youngster has learned from his mistakes. The 46-year-old further contended about playing the ‘natural game’ – he said batsmen need to learn that expressing freely doesn’t mean attack everything, it is about taking the calculative risks while respecting the good balls.
“But I just hope that he learns from the way he batted in the second innings of the World Test Championship final. Playing your natural game does not mean you keep stepping out and throwing your bat at everything which comes your way. It’s about knowing which area to be positive and which area or which length or line to be a little defensive and respect the good deliveries.
“That’s what we saw from Rishabh Pant in Sydney and Brisbane and that’s what we saw in Ahmedabad and Chennai as well. I think that’s the kind of mental approach I am expecting from Rishabh Pant because you will never see him playing a subdued knock. He’s got the clarity, he’s got that license, and I am sure that he will go and express himself on day 3,” the former batsman concluded.