Rishabh Pant - The emerging "Behind the Wicket" powerhouse
After the retirement of MS Dhoni, India's position for the wicket-keeper batsman looked in grave danger as there was no match to the talent which Captain Cool possessed. Wriddhiman Saha was tried, though he is undoubtedly one of the best keepers in India today, he did not prove his efficiency with the bat. Then came the veteran Dinesh Karthik who proved his worth in the recent Indian Premier League where he dawned the Gold and Purple jersey. Because of his performance, he got a position in India's tour of England but failed to leave a mark to strengthen his selection in the upcoming tours abroad.
Amidst this unstable scenario of finding a suitable keeper batsman for the Indian cricket team, the third-youngest Indian and fourth overall, to score a triple century in first-class cricket who is none other than Pant was setting his stage to acclaim a position which Team India was looking for a long time. He had a great season in the domestic circuit. In IPL 2018 he scored 128 not out from 63 balls. This was the highest individual score by an Indian cricketer in a Twenty20 match, surpassing the previous record held by Murli Vijay. He even captained the Delhi team for 2016-17 Vijay Hazare Trophy and spectacularly led Delhi to the final. His successful domestic circuit led him to a position in the test team against England in which he cracked the first ball in International test cricket with a massive sixer. Such a grandeur start it was to a new phase in his career. He even showed great proficiency, character, and patience everything which is needed for a successful test career.
Moreover, with the mindset of Virat to form a team with the essence of youth, zeal, and passion in it, Pant will be a perfect fill to the playing XI. He is just 20 years as of now. And his records speak amazing. He has a total of 1555 First Class runs with an average of 55.62 which consists of 4 centuries and 5 half-centuries. And well the highest score seats well above a triple century(308). One should always remember that for scoring a century one needs talent, but for a triple century, one needs a lot of patience, endurance, and passion for the game.
Last but not the least, I think playing Pant in the tests now will be a boost to his experience. It will be of great help after Captain Cool retires from International cricket, as then Pant will be the ideal replacement for Dhoni. At least the team need not suffer to find an ideal player. Though it is a very early stage to say how much successful Pant will be in the international circuit, the current form he is in both with the bat and behind the wickets, it feels that the day is not far when India's woos for the number 5 position will be resolved. With this note, hope the time is not very far when India will be winning series outside the Indian Subcontinent.