WTC Final: "I am in a much better mental space than last year" - Rishabh Pant

File photo of Indian wicket-keeper batsman Rishabh Pant
File photo of Indian wicket-keeper batsman Rishabh Pant
Ankush Das

From being on the sidelines to becoming a part of India's core group, Rishabh Pant has witnessed it all in the last year.

The young wicket-keeper has put in the hard yards, working tirelessly on his game and fitness to be a better version of himself. During an interaction with the ICC ahead of the World Test Championship final's last day, Pant stressed that he has only been working on his mindset and is currently in a better mental space.

"I think I am a much more confident player than what I was last year because as an individual when you come to a different platform, especially from domestic level to international cricket, you need some time to adjust to that level," Pant said.
"I have been only working on my mindset of what I can do differently from where I have left and I think I am in a much better mental space," he added.

After being dropped from the limited-overs squad against Australia last year, Pant took it on his chin. When the opportunity came during the second Test against the Aussies, he grabbed it with both hands and since then, his stocks have only gone up.

Pant was largely responsible for India defending the Border-Gavskar Trophy. The swashbuckling batsman played an outstanding knock of 97 runs in the third Test at the SCG. His knock laid the foundation for Hanuma Vihari and Ravichandran Ashwin to stitch together a match-saving partnership.

In the final Test of the tour, India breached Australia's fortress at the Gabba. Pant played a vital role again, scoring an unbeaten 89.

Speaking on that memorable victory, the cricketer from Delhi said he was happy to contribute to the winning cause.

"Personally I am very happy that I was able to contribute in the winning cause. Becuase as a player since childhood you have been thinking as a dream that can I make my country win and that's the opportunity you get and you make your country proud. So as a player and an individual that's the proudest thing you can do.

Pant is a pocket-sized dynamite: Bharat Arun

One man who has witnessed Pant's rollercoaster ride in international cricket from close quarters is Indian bowling coach Bharat Arun.

The former India cricketer showered praise on the 23-year-old, saying he has made remarkable improvements to his game.

"He is outstanding, he is exciting and what he has done for us in Australia, he has proved that single-handedly when he gets going he can win matches for you."
"Pant has learnt over the years and has become even more mature. His keeping has had a remarkable improvement. I think he is a pocket-sized dynamite for us," Arun added.
Edited by Anantaajith Ra
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