It has been a mixed series for Rishabh Pant as India's captain against South Africa in the ongoing five-match series. While the approach of the Indian team have been rather aggressive, there have been a few tactical errors made by the young wicketkeeper-batter.
He was thrust into this role on the eve of the Proteas series when KL Rahul was ruled out. Fresh after his captaincy stint with the Delhi Capitals, Pant has been earmarked as a future leader of the Indian team across all three formats.
It will not be an easy role. Being an Indian captain comes with its own set of responsibilities, there will be intense scrutiny and Pant's every move will be under the scanner.
He just has to soak it all in, learn from Virat Kohli under whom he has played a lot, and carve out his own niche. On that note, let's take a look at three things Rishabh Pant can learn from Kohli.
#3 Filter out all the external noise
Virat Kohli and Ravi Shastri formed a superb pair and assembled a world-class unit. They made decisions, stuck with them and never allowed any external noise to filter into the team bubble. This allowed the cricketers to play with freedom, play as per the roles assigned to them and the Indian team reached new heights under them.
This is one trait Pant has to learn and implement rather quickly. With social media allowing almost anyone to have an opinion, it becomes imperative for the leader to be convinced about the decisions he is making. Pant cannot allow the 'external noise' to either impact him or dictate how the team perform.
#2 Managing egos in the dressing room
With 15 players clubbed together in the dressing room, there are bound to be differences, egos clashing and points being shot down. Hence, Pant has to do what Virat Kohli was able to achieve brilliantly.
He needs to be a good man-manager, listen to people, give them their due and hear their point of view.
Also, as captain, he needs to draw a line and be the final word on different issues. Like Kohli and like MS Dhoni before him, they always paid heed to what senior members of the side had to offer, but when it was about making a decision, the captain called the shots.
#1 Trust his instincts
Virat Kohli was all about his instincts. If he believed in a player, he has backed them and over the years, these players have become match-winners for India.
As captain, Rishabh Pant needs to have the conviction to trust his own instincts and stick with them. He has to wrap his head around different match-ups and different analytical data and then devise strategies.
When it comes to playing with a combination or trying out different fields, Pant has to back his gut feeling. He cannot afford to be hesitant, especially under pressure.
As far as his first three matches and captaincy of the Delhi Capitals are concerned, Pant has looked assured. However, the real test will begin when he takes over as the full-time captain of the Indian side.