'He's practiced hard like MS Dhoni': Former India cricketer hails 'vastly improved' Rishabh Pant
Farokh Engineer’s opinion about Rishabh Pant and his wicketkeeping has changed drastically today, with the former India gloveman expressing delight over how far the 23-year-old has come as a keeper.
Farokh Engineer, the former India wicketkeeper, was one of the first people to criticise Rishabh Pant’s wicketkeeping skills when the youngster first burst onto the scene. Although Pant sizzled with a century in his very first Test series – against England in 2018 – his keeping was far from being a finished product, a fact which Engineer very vocally had stressed on.
However, Engineer’s opinion about Pant and his wicketkeeping has changed drastically today, with the former India gloveman expressing delight over how far the 23-year-old has come as a keeper. Pant has kept wicket brilliantly in the ongoing Test series against England. In the second Test, Pant affected four dismissals, taking two brilliant catches and resulting two equally sharp stumpings, and followed it with two more dismissals in the Ahmedabad Test.
Engineer admits Pant reminds him of his younger self and asserts that he’s seen the same improvement in the young wicketkeeper as the one he once spotted in MS Dhoni. When Dhoni emerged into the international scene, his keeping wasn’t exactly lauded by pundits, but the former India captain went on to become one of the greatest wicketkeepers in the world, affecting 829 dismissals in his international career.
"Rishabh Pant reminds me of my younger days. He has vastly improved. He originally had some technical flaws. But he’s practiced hard like MS Dhoni. When he came on the scene, he wasn’t a great keeper. But he practiced and worked on his mistakes," Engineer told SportsKeeda in an interview.
"Rishabh has a wonderful eye. A wonderful sense of balance and timing. These are the three ingredients for a wicket-keeper or a good cricketer."
Engineer added that Pant is a natural when it comes to athleticism, something that he believes would have made him excel in sport even other than cricket.
"Rishabh Pant will be successful at whatever sport he plays. Because once you have a sense of timing, balance and anticipation you can play any sport. Wicket-keeping certainly needs these three things, and Rishabh Pant has all of them."