Former Indian national selector Saba Karim said that Rishabh Pant is likely to emerge as India’s greatest wicketkeeper-batter in the red-ball format.
Pant played one of the best knocks of his Test career as he remained undefeated on 100 against South Africa in the Cape Town Test.
Rishabh Pant’s ton helped India set South Africa 212-run target
Pant joined skipper Virat Kohli at the crease when India were reeling at 58/4 at the end of the 19th over of their innings. Kohli was meticulously trying to avoid the balls that were pitched away from his bodyline.
Pant, who has been chastised for playing unnecessary shots, orchestrated India’s lead with his aggressive mode of batting as he slashed, hoicked and swiped against the South African bowlers.
Not only he did play the bad balls, but also showed great temptation against the good deliveries with his sheer brilliance. He swiped one, playing across the line to Duanne Olivier for a six near wide long-on.
Pant smacked Rabada for a boundary to move to 98 and got a single on the final ball of his over to inch closer to his hundred. In the next over, he swivelled pulled it through square leg to complete his fourth Test hundred.
Rishabh Pant will be India’s biggest match-winner in the coming years: Saba Karim
Karim feels that is Pant is managed well he will turn out to be a match-winner for India in future. The former Indian wicketkeeper-batter also believes that Pant can be more successful than Australian great Adam Gilchrist.
“If he is handled well, then he will emerge as the greatest Indian wicketkeeper-batter in Tests. We might lose a player like him if we don’t stop criticizing. He will be India’s biggest match-winner in the coming years. He is going to make mistakes like he did in the last Test. But if we ostracise him and want him to be dropped, then it is not going to benefit the team,” Karim said on YouTube channel Khelneeti.
“If Rishabh Pant does justice to his talent, then he can also be more successful than Adam Gilchrist. He has often scored runs under pressure and he often plays with an approach of winning matches,” he added.
India lost the final Test to South Africa as the hosts chased the score with their grit and determination to comeback and win the series 2-1.