Indian Head Coach Ravi Shastri states Rishabh Pant can't let the team down
India's fledgling wicket-keeper batsman Rishabh Pant has long been touted as one of the most exciting prospects in store for Indian cricket. Aggressive, dynamic and agile, the young left-hander possesses an array of strokes and has wowed the cricketing world with scintillating knocks on several occasions; be it the IPL or other domestic leagues.
Consistent runs in domestic circuits meant that the Delhi lad was given an opportunity to play for the Men in Blue in 2017 when he made his T20I debut against England at the Chinnaswamy stadium in Bengaluru.
An injury to Wriddhiman Saha and India's middle-order conundrums in the ODIs soon opened the gates for him in the other formats too. While the youngster did manage to fetch applause with a handful of blistering innings, reckless stroke-making and the tendency to throw away his wicket at crunch moments, have posed as constant nemeses.
Particularly, it was Pant's inability to keep a calm head in the World Cup semi-final against New Zealand that had drawn widespread criticism and even raised questions over his spot in the side. Making matters worse, the young wicket-keeper even drew the ire of the fans on a similar instance during India's recently concluded tour of the Caribbean islands.
Now, as Team India, gears up to take on the Proteas in a home-series, the youngster will have plenty to prove in terms of application and temperament. Speaking his mind over the same, Indian Head Coach, Ravi Shastri, said it is time for Rishabh Pant to show how devastating he can be.
In an interview with Sportstar, Shastri intimated that there would consequences if Pant continues to let the team down by playing rash shots. "We'll let him be but at times when you see a shot, like the first ball dismissal in Trinidad, if he repeats that, then he will be told.
There will be a rap on the knuckles, talent or no talent. As simple as that. Because you are letting the team down, forget letting yourselves down. In a situation where you have the captain at the other end, a target to chase, the need of the hour is sensible cricket," Shastri was quoted as saying.
Stating that Pant is an unquestionable talent, the Coach opined that he could be unstoppable if he acquires match-awareness and works on his shot-selection. Pant's next assignment will take form when India lock horns with South Africa for the 2nd T20I in Mohali on 18 September. The 21-year-old will be keen on proving his mettle and thereby, cementing his spot in the side.