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“Rishabh Pant needs to correct his wicketkeeping technique” – Syed Kirmani

Rishabh Pant
Rishabh Pant
ANALYST
Modified 10 Feb 2021
News

Former India wicketkeeper Syed Kirmani feels Rishabh Pant is still in the 'cradle' as far as his glovework is concerned. However, the legendary wicketkeeper called the Delhi cricketer a 'gifted bundle of talent'.

Rishabh Pant, 23, was one of the architects of India’s historic Test series win in Australia last month and also scored a belligerent 91 in the first innings of the Chennai Test.

Despite his batting brilliance, his wicketkeeping has drawn sharp criticism. The trend continued in the home Test against England too, where he spilled chances behind the stumps.

Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of a promotional event, Syed Kirmani said:

“Rishabh Pant is a gifted bundle of talent, a gifted natural stroke player. But he is in the cradle of wicketkeeping; he has to learn a lot. He has to learn when to strike also, which he did in Australia. He (Rishabh Pant) has to have basic correct technique in wicketkeeping, which is not there."

Kirmani continued in this regard:

The ability of a keeper is judged only when he stands up to the stumps. He can keep to fastest bowlers in the world because you have enough time, distance is enough, you can see the swing, bounce of the ball and accordingly you can move. You can anticipate and collect.”

Rishabh Pant needs to learn not to throw his wicket away: Syed Kirmani

Syed Kirmani praised Rishabh Pant for applying himself in Australia during the Brisbane Test but expressed his disappointment for the left-hander's habit of ‘throwing away his wicket’.

Kirmani felt that Rishabh Pant threw away his wicket when he was on 91 in the first innings of the Chennai Test, a match India lost against England by 227 runs.

“He (Pant) played a very composed innings (in Brisbane) and he won the match for the country for the first time. There were many occasions where he could have won the game for India but threw away his wicket," said Kirmani.

Kirmani continued in this regard:

“Here also (in Chennai), he threw his wicket away. When any batsman reaches 80, his focus should be getting to a hundred, and for that, you can’t take the risk. You can’t say I am a natural hooker or natural stroke player; you have to play to the situation and circumstances you are in,” added the 71-year-old, who played 88 Tests and 49 ODIs for India.

However, Syed Kirmani believes Rishabh Pant will mature with experience.

“I liked what he did in Australia; he was composed. Where he had to block, he blocked; where he had to go for it, he went for it. That is how he should adapt to each of his innings, which will come by experience only; it will not come immediately. He is learning, and he is still in his 20s. A player starts maturing when he is 30. It’s a learning process for everyone till we breathe our last like in any walk of life,” Syed Kirmani said.

During his 17-Test career, Rishabh Pant has scored 1,190 runs at an average of 44.1. He has centuries in England and Australia, four 90s and a match-winning 89 not out.

Published 10 Feb 2021
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