Virat Kohli has taught me the importance of learning from mistakes: Rishabh Pant

The young wicket-keeper makes it clear that he believes in sticking to his strengths and doesn’t care about how people perceive him from the outside.

cricket Updated: Nov 15, 2018 14:01 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
india vs australia,virat kohli,ms dhoni
File image of Rishabh Pant.(PTI)

An impressive start to his Test career has seen Rishabh Pant gain in confidence and even as he gears up for the tough challenges that lay ahead on the tour of Australia, the youngster makes it clear that he believes in sticking to his strengths and doesn’t care about how people perceive him from the outside. For Pant, what matters is how his teammates see him.

A lot has been made of the six he hit to kick-start his Test career, but speaking to Times of India, Pant said: “That six changed nothing in my life. No person can ever be judged by one shot... it’s always the kind of knocks he has played. That I could play red-ball cricket was important too.

“My childhood coach Tarak Sinha always maintained that he would not consider me an international player unless I played Test cricket. To do it in England against such an attack was very important for me.”

He was always considered a white-ball player till he hit the century in the Test series against England, but these things do not bother the young wicket-keeper.

“If people tag me, it doesn’t mean I have to change. I improve in my own way and always focus on that. There were no spots in the team earlier. The moment there was a vacancy, I ensured I was performing,” Pant said.

Interestingly, even comparisons with Wriddhiman Saha or former India skipper MS Dhoni doesn’t bother Pant as he feels that he has no qualms in learning from the best. “I am not here to compete with anyone. For me, this phase is all about learning. I keep going up to Mahi bhai and pick up things,” he said.

Life off the field these days is just as important as life on it and Pant is learning from none other than the best — Virat Kohli. “Social media is a part of everyone’s life. You can’t ignore it. But I have learnt to keep off-field hype back in my room. And it doesn’t matter if you have played 500 international matches, you are bound to be nervous when you take the field and I believe that’s a good thing. Virat bhaiya told me that playing 50 matches doesn’t mean you are experienced. A person with three-four games can be equally experienced if he picks up from others’ mistakes,” he revealed.

With the Australia series round the corner — starting on November 21 — Pant is ready for the challenge that awaits the new star of Indian cricket. “Ravi sir (coach Shastri) is constantly in touch over the phone. He keeps talking to me about the conditions and how cricket is played in Australia. Rohit (Sharma) bhaiya has told me to give myself some time to settle and then play my game. Mentally, I am already there,” he said.

First Published: Nov 15, 2018 14:00 IST