Off The Field

Pant a special player, Indian team management still backs him: Rathour

Written by Vipin Darwade

Team India batting coach Vikram Rathour has called young India wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant a very “special player” adding that the 22-year-old was still having the backing of Indian team management. Vikram Rathour said MS Dhoni is still around and replacing someone like him was very different.

“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.

“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.

“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.

No interview in the world of cricket is complete without the biggest star of the game Virat Kohli. Rathour doffed his cap to Kohli and heaped rich praises on the Indian captain saying he hadn’t seen a more hardworking cricketer than him. Rathour went gaga over Virat Kohli’s multi-dimensional skill.

“For me, the best thing about Virat Kohli is his commitment to the game. He wants to be the best player in the world and he works hard for that. He puts in the hard yards, and he is the hardest working cricketer that I have seen. Other than that I believe his adaptability is his biggest strength.

“He is not a one dimensional player, he can change his game as and when required. He plays every format differently and that has been one of his greatest strengths.

“One of the best example in which I saw was in the 2016 IPL where he scored four hundreds and hit 40 odd sixes. He was going through a great patch of form and after that we had a tour to the West Indies. After playing like that for two months in the IPL, he goes to the West Indies and in the first match he scores a double hundred without hitting a single ball in the air.

“So that kind of change to bring into your batting because you are playing a different format, not many cricketers can do that. With Virat Kohli, I think he can play the way he wants to play. He can play according to different situations and that I think is his biggest strength,” Vikram Rathour said.

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Vipin Darwade