Rishabh Pant Will Break MS Dhoni’s Records, Says Former India Wicketkeeper Kiran More

Written by Vishwas Gupta

Former India wicketkeeper Kiran More was mightily impressed with Rishabh Pant’s growth as a wicketkeeper, especially in the series against England. The just-concluded series was Pant’s only second home Test series in his 20-Test career so far, his first being the two-Test rubber against the West Indies in October 2018, which Saha missed after having a shoulder surgery earlier that year in England. Once Saha was back, it was the Bengal cricketer who kept wickets in India against South Africa and Bangladesh in late 2019. There became an unwritten rule that Saha would keep wickets in India and Pant, overseas.

But More deferred. “I have always wondered why Pant was not played in India earlier. Pant did very well in England in his maiden appearance (15 catches in 3 Tests). He did very well in Australia in 2018-19 (20 catches in 4 Tests including 11 in a Test, the best ever by an Indian wicketkeeper). But, when they played in India, he was not allowed to keep wickets,” the 58-year-old More told in an exclusive chat from Baroda.

“I wondered why a person who does well in England and Australia, and wins Tests for you and is a proven match-winner is not tried in India. Unless and until he plays on Indian turning tracks, he is not going to learn. This time, he got an opportunity to play. Once he plays on turning tracks, only then will he learn. He is only 23 years. If you don’t allow him to keep wickets in India and only play him abroad, his growth is only going to drop.”

More, who appeared in 49 Tests and accounted for 130 dismissals including 110 catches and 20 stumpings from 1986 to 1993, felt that a wicketkeeper’s true quality comes while keeping on turning pitches. And, in his books, Pant is a clear winner.

He said: “I feel Pant has got the right opportunity and the wicketkeeper always comes into the picture on turning tracks. He will look good also. Even if he misses an odd ball, nobody will say anything wrong. All they will say is ‘the ball is turning’, ‘it’s staying low’, ‘ball is jumping’, and those sorts of excuses. Plus, usually in India, it is not going to be high-scoring matches. Even if he misses one, it is not going to matter. You are going to get a lot of catche

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Vishwas Gupta