Rishabh Pant a match-winner but India need to handle him judiciously: Deep Dasgupta

India

The Indian team management is doing the right thing by keeping faith in young wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant but they need to handle him better, according to former India wicketkeeper Deep Dasgupta.

Even his naysayers would skip a beat when Rishabh Pant flicks Jasprit Bumrah nonchalantly over square leg boundary in the Indian Premier League (IPL). However, his recent efforts with the bat and behind the stumps are in no way a reflection of the talent he possesses.

From beginning his Test career with hundreds in Australia and England to being booed by home fans for glovework gaffes, Pant has had a roller-coaster of a ride in his nascent career. While his match-winning ability remains unquestioned, his reckless approach in crunch games nearly got him a ‘rap on the knuckles’.

Earlier this year, Rishabh Pant lost his spot in the limited-overs side to KL Rahul. In fact, Pant was picked as the wicketkeeper-batsman for India’s tour of New Zealand but he did not play a single game in the limited-overs leg of the tour which had 5 T20Is and 3 ODIs. Pant returned to the Test side but his performances were far from impressive.

“Yes, the team management is right in showing faith in him [Pant] and sticking to him. He is incredibly talented. He is a match-winner, or to put this way, he is a potential match-winner. He is a confident player as well. However, India need to handle him in a judicious way,” Deep Dasgupta told indiatoday.in.

“See he was picked in the team and he did not play for close to a month. He was benched and did not get a lot of games in New Zealand.

“What happens then is you don’t get opportunities. You would not get enough time to bat in the nets. Generally, players who are playing the match get a lot of opportunities at the nets. Even if you get opportunities, you may not face the best bowlers

“Ideally, he should have played domestic cricket and worked on his skills if he was not going to be picked for the matches.”

‘He might have figured out what needs to be done’

Deep Dasgupta says Pant, like every other player, needs to work on his game and stresses that a stint in domestic cricket can help him implement his plans better without being under the pump on most occasions. The former India wicketkeeper even believes Pant might have worked out his game but he needed more match time to put it to practice.

“Every player needs improvement. Rishabh Pant also needs to work on a few areas in his game. He might have figured that out as well. He might have already figured out what needs to be done to improve his game. However, where would he do that? He needs to get game time to implement them,” Dasgupta said.

“Players like Mayank Agarwal, KL Rahul used domestic cricket to work on their games. That’s why domestic cricket is extremely important to young cricketers. So Rishabh Pant needs to be used judiciously.”

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