Rishabh Pant will give India 10-12 years of outstanding cricket: Kiran More

He had been criticized as ‘reckless’. But when it mattered the most, Rishabh Pant stepped up and delivered a knock for the ages, helping India conquer Australia’s fortress at the Gabba on Tuesday. He was not picked for the first Test of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy despite having scored tons of runs in his last trip Down Under. It had come as a big setback, especially after he was dropped from the limited-overs squads. But the youngster was able to put behind the disappointment and deliver two game-changing knocks when India were under the pump in Sydney and Brisbane. Undoubtedly, Pant emerged as one of the stars of India’s memorable series win in Australia.

It’s important to keep in mind Rishabh Pant is just 23 and he will learn as he gains in experience, according to his former wicketkeeping coach Kiran More. The former India cricketer believes Rishabh Pant can do what the likes of MS Dhoni, Adam Gilchrist and Mark Boucher had done for their respective teams during their heydays — make game-changing impacts.

“Rishabh gave a very good balance to the side after he came in. He is a player who has scored runs at No. 6 or No. 7. In Australia earlier also. He likes playing on such a type of wicket. I will always put money on Rishabh Pant,” Kiran More told indiatoday.in.

“I have been watching him for so many years now. I always felt he could win matches for you on his day. When you have such a type of player in the team, it doesn’t matter if he doesn’t score occasionally. On his day, he can turn the game around like what Kapil Dev used to do for us at No. 7. That’s what Adam Gilchrist did for Australia.

“A lot of people always asked me why Rishabh Pant? He might not be keeping that well but he is young. You’re comparing him with Wriddhiman Saha? Saha is the No. 1 keeper in the world. But when you look at his batting, he puts a lot of pressure on the opposition. Plus he is a left-hander in that Indian line-up.

“When you have batsmen coming in at No. 7 and when you have someone like Pujara who plays around 60 overs, if this guy walks in, even from 200 for 5, there is always hope he can score 400 runs for you. Pant came and it gave the right balance. In fact, I would have gone with Pant in the first Test.”

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Vishwas Gupta