Former Indian cricketer Farookh Engineer sees "something of himself" in Rishabh Pant
Young wicket-keeper and a huge future prospect in batting for India, Rishabh Pant marked a memorable Test debut against England at Trent Bridge in the recently concluded third match of the Specsavers England - India Test series. It is safe to say that he has already made a reasonable impact by virtue of his performance in the game.
And among the several people who lauded Pant's wicket-keeping, is a much delighted former Indian keeper Farokh Engineer, who said that he "sees a bit of himself" in the 20-year-old.
Pant took seven catches in a calm and composed showing behind the stumps. His seven catches is already a national record, but down the years, everyone will certainly remember him for the fearlessness he exhibited while batting his first ever Test inning, when he hoicked England leg-spinner Adil Rashid over long on off the second ball he faced, thereby becoming the first ever Indian Test batsman to begin his career with a maximum.
“I’m very impressed, he has tremendous reflexes,” Farookh said on Sunday, before adding: “I love to see youngsters make a mark. He didn’t show any nerves and hit the second ball for a six. Rishabh has guts and confidence. Some nerves are bound to happen, it being his debut. He wanted to get off the mark quickly and that is the shot he plays. But he was bubbling.
He also recollected his own debut game from back in 1961. "My first three balls I faced in Test cricket, I hit them for fours, but that was out of sheer nervousness, he said.” Engineer made his Test debut against England at Kanpur in 1961, soon becoming popular for his sharp keeping and aggressive batting in an era when playing in the air was a strict no.
However, he also felt Pant can improve his keeping with minor adjustments. "A wicket-keeper should stay as low as possible to move quickly and even turn half-chances into catches. But he will learn. Overall, his performance was brilliant," he concluded.