Former Team India wicket-keeper Syed Kirmani feels although Rishabh Pant is an extremely talented batsman but he is still a baby in a cradle and has a lot to learn when it comes to wicket-keeping. Incidentally, Pant’s wicket-keeping has repeatedly come under the scanner while he continues to flourish as a batsman.
He has been on a run-scoring spree since the tour of Australia where he slammed a quick-fire 97 in Sydney followed by a match-winning knock of 89* in Brisbane, as India breached the Gabba fortress to beat the Australians at the venue for the first time in 33 years and pocketed the series 2-1 for the second consecutive time.
Rishabh Pant is still in the cradle of wicket-keeping – Syed Kirmani
However, his wicket-keeping skills have always been under the spotlight especially against the spinners. His shortcomings were on display in the recently-concluded Test match against England in Chennai especially against Ravichandran Ashwin and Shahbaz Nadeem, where the ball turned sharply.
Syed Kirmani, who is widely considered to be the best wicketkeeper India has ever produced believes Rishabh Pant is still in the cradle of wicket-keeping. The member of the 1983 World Cup-winning side feels the Delhi lad still needs to learn the basics of wicket-keeping.
“Rishabh Pant is a gifted bundle of talent, a gifted natural stroke player. But he is in the cradle of wicketkeeping, he has to learn a lot. He has to learn when to strike also, which he did in Australia. He (Pant) has to have a basic correct technique in wicket-keeping, which is not there. The ability of a keeper is judged only when he stands up to the stumps,” said Syed Kirmani to reporters when asked about Rishabh Pant’s wicketkeeping.
“He can keep to the fastest bowler in the world because you have enough time, distance is enough, a time where you can see the swing, bounce of the ball, and accordingly you can move. You can anticipate and collect,” said Kirmani who has played 88 Tests and 49 ODIs between 1976 and 1986.
While Rishabh Pant is expected to retain his berth in the second Test which starts from February 13 (Saturday) at the MA Chidambaram Stadium, he needs to work on his wicket-keeping skills to cement his berth in the Test side with Wriddhiman Saha waiting in the wings to take his spot.