Rishabh Pant is in the news for not so good reasons in the recent past. Apart from his match-winning knock in the third T20I against the West Indies, the southpaw has failed to make any significant contribution. His shot selection has come under the scanner even as the head coach Ravi Shastri also spoke about the same ahead of the T20I series against South Africa. Things only went worse for Pant after he got out to Bjorn Fortuin in Mohali for just four runs.
However, the former India cricketer Sourav Ganguly has come out in support of the youngster and has urged everyone to be patient with him. Rather he thinks, Pant is a match-winner and should be allowed to play his game rather than criticise him after every match. Ganguly also backed him to be the X-factor for India in the near future.
While speaking to Cricbuzz, Ganguly felt the likes of Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli are always there but players like Hardik Pandya and Rishabh Pant can turn the game on its head on any given day. “I think India is strong. India is strong and powerful. I wouldn’t go back to Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli as the X-factors because they are the X-factor players.
“Rohit Sharma’s performance in the World Cup was unreal, five World Cup hundreds. Although India lost in the semi-finals, India played well in the World Cup. I think when you talk about X-factors and you talk about future players, Rishabh Pant will be the one to watch,” he said.
Just be patient with him
Sourav Ganguly pointed the way social media goes haywire against Pant every time he gets out and urged the country to just be patient and see the left-hander develop into a match-winner. “Just be patient with him. I see the country goes up and down every time he gets dismissed. Every time Pant hits a ball in the air, Twitter goes berserk. ‘When will he learn to build an innings’ and all that.
But if you want to have a match-winner, you have to set him free. You will have people who will defend, who will prod, who will rotate and India has a lot of them. Shikhar Dhawan can do that, Virat Kohli himself can do that, but you need the likes of Pant and Pandya to bring the X-factor. To bring the explosive thing, the game-changing thing that you need to win matches. I think Pant will be a huge force in Indian cricket,” the former India skipper added.
Once again, all the eyes will be on Rishabh Pant when he takes the field on Sunday in the third T20I against the Proteas and the youngster will be keen on breaking the rut.
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