Ricky Ponting was expecting Rishabh Pant to play the first day and night Test against Australia. Ponting who has seen Pant from close quarters as the coach of Delhi Capitals in IPL has always rated the wicket-keeper batsman very profoundly. Pant smashed a brilliant ton in the practice match but the team management preferred to pick Wriddhiman Saha ahead of him at Adelaide.
Rishabh Pant has an X-Factor- Ricky Ponting
Former Australia captain Ponting talked highly of Pant and tagged him as a player with an X-factor with the bat. Since his brilliant unbeaten century at SCG in the last Australia tour, Pant was always picked ahead of Saha as the keeper-batsman away from home.
However, Pant missed some crucial opportunities against New Zealand in the last test series behind the stumps. As a result, Saha who is known for his accomplished glove work played ahead of him against Australia in the first Test. Ponting further affirmed that Saha is a better keeper than Pant and that his why he got the nod ahead of him in the first test.
“I’m surprised [that Rishabh Pant wasn’t picked]. I think he’s a terrific young player, X-factor about him with the bat. Probably, not as good a keeper as [Wriddhiman] Saha and that’s probably the reason they’ve left him out”, Ricky Ponting said during his commentary stint with Channel 7.
Meanwhile, Rishabh Pant has always performed his best for India in Test cricket with the bat. The 23-year-old already has centuries in Australia and England which no other Indian wicket-keeper has been able to achieve. Nevertheless, he still has some work to do as far his wicket-keeping skills is concerned before he becomes a permanent member in the Indian squad.