India's Rishabh Pant bats as Australian wicketkeeper Tim Paine, right, watches during play on day two of the second cricket test between India and Australia at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, Melbourne, Australia, Sunday, Dec. 27, 2020.(AP)
India's Rishabh Pant bats as Australian wicketkeeper Tim Paine, right, watches during play on day two of the second cricket test between India and Australia at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, Melbourne, Australia, Sunday, Dec. 27, 2020.(AP)

India vs Australia: ‘Rishabh Pant reminds me of Adam Gilchrist,’ says Glenn McGrath, Ajit Agarkar feels young wicketkeeper cops ‘unnecessary criticism’

Alongside McGrath was former India fast bowler Ajit Agarkar, who feels that even though there is a bit of risk factor involved with Pant, he is too good a player to be ignored. Pant, who was not India’s first-choice wicketkeeper for the Adelaide Test replaced Wriddhiman Saha in Melbourne and is one of the few Indian batsmen to have struck a century in England and Australia in his first Test tour.
By hindustantimes.com | New Delhi
UPDATED ON DEC 28, 2020 08:39 AM IST

After Ricky Ponting, it’s Glenn McGrath who has noticed similarities between Rishabh Pant and former Australia wicketkeeper Adam Gilchrist. McGrath, who played alongside Ponting and Gilchrist and represented the glorious era of Australian cricket in the late 1990s to 2007, believes Pant’s attitude while batting is a lot like Gilchrist.

McGrath’s comments came after Pant had scored 29 in India’s first innings and while it may not have been the biggest of scores, Pant displayed sparks by hitting two boundaries in an over off Pat Cummins.

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“Rishabh Pant reminds me of Adam Gilchrist as he plays. Always he playing shots and is never afraid to play any shot. If you see them at the crease, they always keep doing something,” McGrath said on the Sony Sports Network.

Alongside McGrath was former India fast bowler Ajit Agarkar, who feels that even though there is a bit of risk factor involved with Pant, he is too good a player to be ignored. Pant, who was not India’s first-choice wicketkeeper for the Adelaide Test replaced Wriddhiman Saha in Melbourne and is one of the few Indian batsmen to have struck a century in England and Australia in his first Test tour.

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“Glenn just said that he is a bit like Adam Gilchrist. So if he’s got that X-factor why would you not have him in the team. Ok, in this game he’s batted at No. 6 so you’ll always get that from Rishabh Pant. There was bounce on that ball... it was close for him to cut. But you could see how much he’s worked on a pitch against a bowler whom players have to work hard against,” Agarkar said.

Pant, who averages 38.76 in Tests has received the wrong end of the stick, reckons Agarkar, who has urged the team management to back the 23-year-old wicketkeeper and hand him a longer rope. “That’s that added responsibility. Perhaps he’s not done much till now... India usually play six batters but he unnecessarily cops criticism especially in Test cricket. You see how he’s played in Test cricket,” Agarkar pointed out.

“He’s a young player. When you have that sort of ability and potential in someone, might as well back him as much as you can. There will be few mistakes along the way but you’ve got to take it because he’ll win you a few games along the way as well.”

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