'Replacing MS Dhoni was never going to be easy': India batting coach Rathour backs Rishabh Pant
- In an exclusive interview with Sportskeeda, the Indian cricket team's batting coach Vikram Rathour backed Rishabh Pant.
- With MS Dhoni's future still uncertain, India are trying to usher in the next generation of wicket-keepers.
The Indian cricket team's batting coach Vikram Rathour has thrown his weight behind the under-fire Rishabh Pant and has stated that if given time, the young wicket-keeper will become a match-winner.
Rishabh Pant has been under a lot of criticism lately, with his performances with the bat often inconsistent and his keeping not up to the standard of his predecessor, the legendary MS Dhoni.
In an exclusive chat with Indranil Basu on Sportskeeda Cricket's Facebook page, Rathour backed the middle-order batsman to improve and fill MS Dhoni's shoes.
On being asked how the team is treating a special talent like Rishabh Pant, who can change a game single-handedly, Rathour said that there is no doubt over the young keeper's ability despite a recent rough patch.
"He (Rishabh Pant) hasn't had a great last year and hasn't done too well in international cricket. He still has the backing of the team management and we believe he is a special player. He can still bring a lot to the Indian cricket team once he starts scoring," he said.
"MS Dhoni is still around, we don't know what is happening with him, but replacing someone like him is not and was never going to be easy, with the kind of stature he had in international cricket. Pant has had a few failures so he has been under pressure to perform, but something like this makes you a stronger and better player," added Rathour.
'Rishabh Pant is working really hard': Vikram Rathour
Rathour also added that Rishabh Pant is working very hard on both his fitness and his game and that the management has full faith in the Delhi Capitals southpaw.
"He's working really hard on the physical aspect, he is training hard, he is practising hard, and I have absolutely no doubt that if we keep backing him, eventually he will be a match-winner for Team India," Rathour said.
MS Dhoni last featured for India in their heartbreaking loss to New Zealand in the semi-final of the 2019 World Cup. His future is currently up in the air, and the national team have been forced to look elsewhere to fill the glaring hole at the wicket-keeper position.
Rishabh Pant has long been touted as the heir to the throne but has flattered to deceive for the Men in Blue. Although he is still only 22 years old, he has already seen the gloves taken away from him by KL Rahul in ODIs and Wriddhiman Saha in Tests.
However, if Vikram Rathour's words are anything to go by, the best of Rishabh Pant is yet to come.
Published 26 Jun 2020, 19:31 IST