Indian batsman and wicketkeeper, Rishabh Pant, has been a curious case for the Indian cricket team in the past few years. The left-hand smasher made a name for himself in the Indian Premier League (IPL) with his free flowing attacking techniques, and his ability to judge the ball well.
The young wicketkeeper was seen as a potential replacement for former Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, when he decided to hang up his boots. But the previous year of 2019 hasn’t exactly turned out in favour of Rishabh Pant, who witnessed himself being constantly in and out of the team, and also faced harsh criticism from fans for inconsistent performances.
However in IPL, Pant has been sensational over the years, and has been able to perform consistently for the Deli capital’s franchise. Every opposition in IPL knows that till the time Pant is in the middle order, the game is very much on.
Delhi Capital’s assistant coach and former Indian cricket maestro Mohammad Kaif, in a recent discussion, explained the one factor that’s missing for the 22-year-old when he plays for India, as compared to when he is a part of the IPL franchise
“Rishabh Pant is a free-flowing player. You have to set his batting position, that he will bat at this position and he will get this many overs to play. He needs to be clear in his head that he will get this many overs so that he is not thinking whether he needs to take singles, or if he needs to defend. He is an attacking batsman, he should start hitting attacking shots from the first ball,” Kaif told former India cricketer Aakash Chopra in his YouTube chat show ‘Aakash Vani’.
“So, at Delhi Capitals, me, Dada and Ricky Ponting discussed a few times that whether to send Pant at no. 3 or no. 4. But later we decided that Pant should get at least 60 balls to play. It doesn’t matter which position he is batting at, he needs to get final 10 overs. This thing has not yet been decided by Indian team,” Kaif added.
“He sometimes bats in the 15th over in a 50-over match. A finisher or an attacking batsman should be given the same role. The Indian team has not been able to figure out Pant’s batting slot right now. But in IPL, we have figured it out. This is why he has played great in IPL, because he plays with a free-flow cricket,” the former India batsman further said.