Author: Abhishek Rajan
Ravi Shastri doesn’t think that wicket-keeping comes “naturally” to India’s young wicket-keeper batsman Rishabh Pant.
Pant, who has kept wickets in every age-group he has played, has recently lost his position as India’s first choice keeper in white ball cricket.
The 22-year old went into the recent ODI series against Australia as the first choice keeper, but couldn’t keep wicket in the first game because of the concussion he suffered after being hit on the helmet off the bowling of Pat Cummins.
KL Rahul took over the gloves from Pant temporarily, but he impressed the Indian team management with his glove-work so much that the team management decided to go ahead with him as the first choice keeper in limited-over cricket.
Pant was available for selection in the third ODI against Australia, but he was not picked in the playing XI and the southpaw was, thereafter, overlooked for the first T20I against New Zealand as well.
According to Shastri, Pant is highly talented, but for him to be able to use that talent and to do well for India at the international level, he must improve his keeping and he knows that. He is devoting a lot of time to the wicket-keeping drills.
Initially, it was thought that Pant was dropped from India’s playing XI because of his inconsistency with the bat, but Shastri’s statement suggests that Pant’s keeping was one of the main reasons why he lost his spot to KL Rahul.
“He (Pant) has to work really hard on his wicket-keeping. He is not a natural keeper but he’s got all that talent which will go to waste if he doesn’t work on his keeping.” Shastri said while speaking to The Hindu.
“I think he has realized that and if you see him now, he is working extremely hard on his “keeping as well.” Shastri added.
Featured Image Credits: DNA India