Indian cricket team.(Twitter @himantabiswa)
Indian cricket team.(Twitter @himantabiswa)

‘A talent getting wasted’: Former cricketer Kirti Azad on India batsman

Former India cricketer Kirti Azad believes that Pant is a talented batsman but he needs to keep his head cool.
Hindustan Times, New Delhi | By hindustantimes.com
UPDATED ON JUL 20, 2020 11:28 AM IST

Ever since he arrived on to the scene, Rishabh Pant has been the talk of the town. The India wicketkeeper-batsman was pegged to be the player who could replace former India captain MS Dhoni in the team. As a young cricketer, Pant has all the qualities which Dhoni had in his young age. Like Dhoni, Pant is an explosive batsman who is well-suited to the task of smashing big boundaries lower down the order. Like Dhoni, Pant also has the ability to win matches for his team, something he has done on numerous occasions for his Indian Premier League franchise Delhi Capitals. Pant, much like Dhoni, also has a desire and deep hunger to improve and entertain.

Even though Pant still needs to do a lot of work to improve as a wicketkeeper to match up to Dhoni’s level of skills, which in itself is a mountain of a task, his abilities as a batsman saw him getting much popularity among fans.

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But after an average 2019 in which Pant struggled to find consistency, the keeper saw himself getting dropped from the playing XI in 2020, with KL Rahul taking responsibilities behind the stumps.

Former India cricketer Kirti Azad believes that Pant is a talented batsman but he needs to keep his head cool. “He is very impulsive. I think he can turn out to be a very good batsman than keeper. And, if he keeps his head cool, the question is that he wants to hit every ball, you are not playing T20 cricket when you are playing a 50-overs game or a Test match,” Azad told Sportskeeda in an interview.

Indian wicket-keeper Rishabh Pant during a practice session at Arun Jaitley Stadium in New Delhi. (PTI)
Indian wicket-keeper Rishabh Pant during a practice session at Arun Jaitley Stadium in New Delhi. (PTI)

Azad further said that he feels sorry to see that a talent like Pant is getting wasted. “You have to learn to stay at the wicket. If you stay at the wicket, the runs are going to come to you.

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“Some good ball takes your wicket, I can understand, but if you hit a big shot and get out, which has happened most of the times as far as Rishabh Pant is concerned, I feel sorry because he is a great talent getting wasted,” he added.

Meanwhile, Delhi Capitals’ assistant coach Mohammad Kaif believes that the Indian team need to fix a batting position for Pant so that he can play with more freedom.

“Rishabh Pant is a free-flowing player. You have to set his batting position, that he will bat at this position and he will get this many overs to play. He needs to be clear in his head that he will get this many overs so that he is not thinking whether he needs to take singles, or if he needs to defend. He is an attacking batsman, he should start hitting attacking shots from the first ball,” Kaif had told former India cricketer Aakash Chopra on his Youtube chat show ‘Aakash Vani’.

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