Sometimes you are getting too much backing: Irfan Pathan feels ‘a little kick on the back’ will help Rishabh Pant
Heavily backed to succeed Dhoni behind the stumps, Pant was seen as the next big thing of Indian cricket until last year when things went awry. From a direct pick in the Indian XI, Pant has lately been warming the bench.Updated: Jul 27, 2020, 10:25 IST
Former India all-rounder Irfan Pathan believes the gap Indian cricket has enjoyed due to the Covid-19 pandemic promises to help Rishabh Pant come out of slump. Pathan feels Pant is one of the many cricketers who will benefit from it since the pandemic-induced break has kept players away from the limelight and he reckons sometimes it is the best thing that can happen to a player struggling for form.
“If you talk of Rishabh Pant, he is a young guy, very talented, there was a lot of focus on him. So the focus getting removed from him, it will do a world of good to Rishabh Pant and many other cricketers,” Pathan said on the Cricket Connected Show on Star Sports.
“Lot of people will benefit from this break. I feel there will be a lot of cricketers whose career was at stake but would get revived now because they would have recovered mentally as well as physically, especially players who are 35-36 years of age their careers might get extended for a couple of years.”
Since MS Dhoni’s absence following the semifinal of last year’s World Cup, the Indian team had invested heavily in Pant, but a string of low scores seemingly shut the door on him. Heavily backed to succeed Dhoni behind the stumps, Pant was seen as the next big thing of Indian cricket until last year when things went awry. From a direct pick in the Indian XI, Pant has lately been warming the bench. He did not play a single ODI or T20I during India’s tour of New Zealand despite being in the squad and his role was confined to carrying drinks on the field, or offering the batsmen a change of bats/gloves.
Pant has come in for criticism in recent times for his shot selection in limited-overs cricket. India coach Ravi Shastri called for a “rap on the knuckles” for him, while batting coach Vikram Rathour stressed the importance of being fearless without being careless. Captain Kohli has also spoken of how youngsters wouldn’t get chance after chance in the highly competitive Indian sides.
“Sometimes you are getting too much backing which Virat Kohli is backing him in the public eye as well, but I think when you get a little bit of kick on your back, that’s when if you have talent you are going to go big,” Pathan said.
“I have no doubt that even though all the pressure is coming on him, he had to miss out some matches in T20 cricket with KL Rahul going out and doing what he did as a wicketkeeper as well and that is going to put pressure, but I think that will do a world of good to Rishabh Pant.”