Under-fire wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant receives words of encouragement from Parthiv Patel
It is fair to say that 2019 was a forgettable year for Rishabh Pant. The young dasher was presented with an opportunity to cement a permanent spot in the Indian side. However, he squandered several promising starts with the bat, and his ordinary work behind the stumps have made him face the flak on many occasions.
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Now, veteran India stumper Parthiv Patel has come out in support of the under-fire youngster. He has advised Pant to shut out the criticism and solely focus on the game.
“Today’s youngsters have got that advantage of playing with the big players and sharing the dressing room with them. But when you are struggling for form, you get opinions from all quarters. It’s about keeping yourself away from opinions and focus on your game,” said Patel, who has represented India in 65 international games.
Patel had made his Test debut against England at Trent Bridge. He was the youngest wicket-keeper to represent a national side at the age of 17 years and 153 days.
Incidentally, Pant too made his Test debut against the same opposition at Trent Bridge. The Uttarakhand-born cricketer even went on to hit his maiden ton in the same series. However, an extended lean patch thereafter didn't help matters.
On Pant’s glovework, Patel said, “Obviously when you play for India, you have something in you. He made his Test debut in a tough place like England where the ball swings a lot. He’s a young player. It’s about gaining confidence. It can change in a matter of one-two innings.”
While Wriddhiman Saha is more or less India’s go to gloveman in Tests, the men in blue are yet to find a suitable option in the white-ball format. Kerala’s Sanju Samson has been waiting in the wings for quite some time now.
Samson has put up a mountain of runs in the domestic circuit, which in turn is bound to increase the pressure on Pant.
Virat Kohli’s men will next take on Sri Lanka in a three-match T20I series, starting in Guwahati on 5 January. The question is whether the team management will pick Samson for the upcoming games or throw another lifeline at Pant, who has turned out in 26 T20Is for India.Published 02 Jan 2020, 22:19 IST