Former Indian wicketkeeper Saba Karim believes that dynamic wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant should keep wickets on in Tests player on spin-conducive tracks on home soil in order to improve his skills against the spinners.
Rishabh Pant once again displayed just why he is one of the great batting talents and a genuine match-winner in the recently concluded Test series in Australia courtesy flamboyant knocks of 97 and 89* in Sydney and Brisbane.
However, his keeping deficiencies against spinners was once again exposed to the hilt as the 23-year-old continued to drop catches against the likes of Ravichandran Ashwin.
Since Pant’s debut, India has employed the tactic of playing the southpaw in overseas Tests while persisting with the seasoned stumper in Wriddhiman Saha on home soil.
Both Pant and Saha have been named in the squad for the upcoming Test series against England and it is still not clear as to whether the Delhi swashbuckler will play as a keeper or as a specialist batsman.
But Saba Karim feels that the time has come for India to expose Rishabh Pant to turning tracks on home soil as he believes that the 23-year-old will not improve as a wicketkeeper unless he is allowed to keep wickets on home soil.
“Rishabh Pant should be allowed to keep on home soil. Keeping against our spinners will test his keeping skills. Why are we hiding him from turning tracks? Where else will he learn? He can keep for hours in the nets, but nothing beats keeping in a match. The pressure of Test match will only help him grow as a keeper,” Saba Karim told Indranil Basu on Sportskeeda.
Karim also went on to explain the basics of wicketkeeping besides shedding light on the technical deficiencies that Pant can work upon.
“Technical deficiencies can be worked upon. Feet movement, body position, head position are basics to wicketkeeping. But at times when you are under pressure, you forget the basics and make the old mistakes. This is one area where he has to improve. Wicketkeeping is all about confidence,” said Saba Karim.
“He has to allow every ball to come to him. One of the basics of wicketkeeping is the feeling that every ball that the bowler bowls is coming to him. That helps you get into a better position. Your feet movement and head position will be perfect. And once you get the position right, you are better placed for the nicks.” he added.