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"We saw the best of Rishabh Pant in Australia": Monty Panesar

Rishabh Pant
Rishabh Pant
ANALYST
Modified 23 Jan 2021
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Former England spinner Monty Panesar feels that young Indian batsman Rishabh Pant must be allowed to play his natural, aggressive brand of cricket.

Rishabh Pant returned from the Australia tour with his reputation enhanced following knocks of 97 and 89 not out at the SCG and the Gabba respectively, the latter resulting in a historic triumph.

Speaking to Sportskeeda’s Indranil Basu in an SK Live session on Facebook, Panesar said that he loves the way Rishabh Pant approaches the game:

“He (Rishabh Pant) is like a Gilchrist-type of player. He can take the game away, and it’s getting the best out of him. He needs to play attacking cricket. He is not like a Pujara or a Hanuma Vihari, who just soak up the ball and take the swing out of the game for the bowlers. He is there to play attacking cricket and we saw the best of him (in Australia),” said Panesar.

The 38-year-old added that Rishabh Pant seemed to have put on weight during the IPL but managed to transform himself by the time he played in Australia, saying in this regard:

“I was watching the IPL in the UK because we were getting so bored of the lockdown. And the first thing I saw Rishabh Pant and I thought, you guys must be loving the Indian food during the lockdown. But he transformed that. And, you can see in his exercise videos, he can do these flips, and has got this great core strength.”

Rishabh Pant doesn’t want to be compared with MS Dhoni

In the wake of his success Down Under, comparisons have begun between Rishabh Pant and his legendary predecessor MS Dhoni. However, the young wicketkeeper said that it is unfair to compare him with a legend.

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Speaking to reporters after his arrival in New Delhi on Thursday, the left-hander said:

"It feels amazing when you compare someone like MS Dhoni. It feels good for me to be compared with him. But I don't want me to be compared with anyone. I want to make a name for myself in Indian cricket. That's the only thing I am focused on. Because it's not too good to compare a legend with a youngster.”

While his wicketkeeping remains a work in progress, the 23-year-old Rishabh Pant has made an impressive start to his Test career as a batsman.

In 16 Tests, he has conjured 1088 runs, doing so at an average of 43.52, while scoring two hundreds (both away from home) and four fifties too.

Published 23 Jan 2021, 01:51 IST
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