There is little denying the fact that Rishabh Pant is set to get an extended run in the Indian team across formats. The highly-rated youngster is being widely seen as MS Dhoni’s apt replacement. Thus the team-management is unlikely to drop Pant anytime soon. However, India head coach Ravi Shastri has sent a timely reminder to the youngster about his place in the team.
Shastri has made it clear that Pant cannot take his position in the side for granted, saying that the youngster will be ‘rapped on the knuckles’ if he keeps on playing rash shots. Pant received widespread criticism for his performance in West Indies. It was the first time, he was picked in the ODI and the T20I side as the number one wicketkeeper-batsman. A good outing in the Caribbean Islands would have pretty much sealed Pant’s place in the team.
However, the Delhi star failed to grab the opportunity and performed miserably. Barring the fifty in the third T20I, he did not make much of an impact. What made things worse for him was his poor shots. Pant showed little application and was out playing rash shots more often than not. But Shastri has now sent a timely reminder to Pant, asking the batsman to bat smartly.
“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,” Shastri told Star Sports.
“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,” he added.
No need to change the style
While Rishabh Pant’s aggressive batting style has often attracted debate, Shastri said that changing the style is never an option. The coach said that the batsmen need to read the game well in order to succeed. He also asked Pant to step up and start delivering.
“No one will even think of changing his style. Like Virat said, reading the situation, match-awareness and shot-selection becomes crucial. If he can fathom that, he could be unstoppable. It could take one game, it could take four games. He has played so much IPL cricket, he will learn. It’s time now for him to step up and show how devastating he can be,” Shastri said with captain Virat Kohli by his side.
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