It was a huge day for young Rishabh Pant when he got selected in the Indian Test squad for the five-match Test series against England. He is the 2nd wicket-keeper in the team behind Dinesh Karthik. Pant is an explosive batsman. The southpaw has proved in the IPL and other domestic tournaments that he has the ability to smash any bowling attack to the cleaners. He has a few issues with his technique. But he is a naturally attacking batsman and his role shouldn’t be changed in the team.
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India might look to the future and Pant is the ideal man for times ahead. He might get a chance in the upcoming series. Even if he doesn’t get an opportunity, the time spend in England with the Indian team will do a world of good for the young 20-year-old. His attacking batting style has been compared to Gilchrist. Many feel that if given the opportunity, Pant might be as dangerous as Gilly at No 6 or No 7 position.
Pant looked good in the practise games
He scored two twin half-centuries during the 4-day practice game against the England Lions. The bowling line-up had quite a few international stars. Hence Pant will be satisfied in that regard. He has been part of India A squad for the considerable amount of time. His attacking and free-flowing batting style makes him a dangerous player at any formats of the game. India A and Junior coach Rahul Dravid have also showered praises on the young batsman.
“He is a very talented player. He showed in three or four innings that he was willing to bat differently. We all know the way he bats. Even in the 2017-18 Ranji Trophy season when he got over to 900 runs his S/R was 100 plus and we have seen him bat similarly in the IPL as well.
He has the temperament and skills to bat differently. He is always going to be an attacking player but reading of the situation when you are playing red ball cricket is required. We are glad he has been picked into the national team. I hope he takes this maturity into the national team and hopefully builds from thereon.”
Exclusive Interview with BCCI Tv
During an exclusive interview with the BCCI Tv, Pant revealed several aspects on his game and how it felt when he got included in the Test squad. “It was a great feeling to hear that I had been included in the Indian Test squad. I always wanted to be a part of the Indian Test squad. It was more like a dream come true for me. It was an amazing feeling, not only for me but also for my family and my coach Tarek Sinha sir, who helped me understand the game very early in my life. He has always wanted me to play Test cricket for India and when I got the call, he was very happy and proud and I enjoyed that moment,” the stumper said.
He was asked what different preparations he makes from white ball to red ball cricket. In reply, Pant said that it was more to do with the shot selections that preparing differently. “I reckon there isn’t too much difference, but it has got more to do with shot selection. In red ball cricket, with the field placements, you can look around; take your time, because you have five days to play. Whereas in limited overs cricket you have limited number of balls to play and score.
Pant has enjoyed his red ball cricket
I have so far enjoyed my preparation with red ball cricket. The Duke ball swings a lot when you’re here in England and initially when I started playing here with India A, I realized that the swing will come a lot into play in these conditions,” he said.
Adam Gilchrist is Pant’s idol and he has always looked up to him as his wicket-keeping idol. However, he said that he is learning more from the likes of Rahul Dravid, Ajinkya Rahane and Virat Kohli. “I always see everything as an opportunity coming my way. Especially as a wicket-keeper batsman in India, wherein, there aren’t too many options for the spot. Therefore, whatever opportunity I get, I try and optimize it.
Adam Gilchrist is my idol
Adam Gilchrist has been my idol when it comes to keeping wickets and I used to watch him all the time as a youngster. But, at this moment, I’m learning a lot from people around me like Rahul Dravid Sir, Ajinkya Rahane, Virat Kohli and I try and improve my game every day,” Pant added.
Pant said that it is the positivity in the Indian team which has always stood out for him. He has been part of the Indian squad on a few occasions and shares a good rapport with the senior players.”
Every time I come to the Indian dressing room, there is one thing that has always stood out for me. It is the positivity in the dressing room. Everyone is supporting and backing each other, which is the most important factor about this Indian dressing room. And, like always, whenever I needed any support from Mahi bhai, I used to ask him. From my IPL contract to my wicket-keeping, he’s advised me on everything.
He’s always told me that when it comes to wicket-keeping, your hands and head is important, the body balance can come into play later, but the key is the hands and head coordination. I worked on what he told me and it has helped me a lot.”