Adam Gilchrist advises Rishabh Pant to focus on himself instead of copying MS Dhoni
Former Australia player and swashbuckling opener Adam Gilchrist has advised Indian wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant to focus on playing his natural game rather than trying to emulate former India captain MS Dhoni.
The Indian media has taken a special liking towards Pant and the limelight has seemingly created obstacles in his mind, resulting in under-performance on the big stages. The controversial keeper has been the centre of attention ever since his non-selection in the original 15-man squad for the World Cup in England and Wales earlier this year.
An injury to Shikhar Dhawan presented a perfect opportunity for Pant to showcase his talent in front of the world, but he didn't exactly make the most of it.
Speaking at a promotional event by Tourism Western Australia, Gilchrist said:
“Rishabh looks like a very talented young player. Just don’t put too much pressure on him too early and expect that he’s going to produce Dhoni-like performances every day… My advice to Rishabh Pant will be: learn everything you can from Dhoni. Don’t try to be Dhoni. Just try to be the best Rishabh Pant you can.”
In his last six T20I innings, Pant has scored only 119 runs at an average of 23.8. These figures don't bode well for the Indian team that is looking for a Dhoni replacement before the T20 World Cup in Australia next year.
Gilchrist also spoke about the survival of Test cricket in the age of T20 and T10 leagues. He sounded optimistic about the longest format of the game and said that there was room for all formats to survive simultaneously.
“Test cricket in this day and age will always have challenges because in a fast-paced world, five days of Test cricket doesn’t seem a natural fit. It is surviving on the back of the innovations of T20 and earlier one-day cricket. There’s a room for it," he said.
In the freewheeling conversation, Gilchrist said that he wasn’t too sure about the possibility of more people coming in to watch Test cricket in day-night games, but he believes it will boost the overall viewership of the game. According to him, an important series involving India, Australia and England will always find big crowds attending the game. He said:
“I am not sure it will get more fans attending Test matches. I think the days of consistent crowds of Test cricket are probably gone. The big marquee series like India-Australia and the Ashes will still garner a decent crowd. There’s still a very strong passive following of Test cricket," he added.
But according to Gilchrist, efforts should be made to keep Test cricket engaging both for the fans and players. We will have to wait and see whether the Test Championship and day-night Tests are well and truly here to stay
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