MSK Prasad names three young wicket-keepers as Rishabh Pant’s backup, says ‘We’ve been grooming them across all formats’
Accepting the fact that Rishabh Pant has immense talent, India chairman of selectors MSK Prasad stated that the selection committee is working towards grooming back-up wicket-keepers ready to manage the workload of left-hander. Pant has been under a lot of scrutiny ever since he broke into the Indian side and that went up several notches after he was pitted as the first-choice keeper for all three formats following MS Dhoni’s decision to go on a self-imposed break post the World Cup.
But unfortunately, Pant has blown hot and cold in the matches he has played after the world cup. He did score a fantastic half-century in the 3rd T20I against West Indies but apart from that he has not been able to notch up up a good score. More than runs, it’s the manner in which Pant has been getting out that has given a headache to the Indian team management.
Even in the recently-concluded 2nd T20I at Mohali, Pant hit a half-tracker straight to the short fine leg fielder. But MSK Prasad was ready to be patient with Pant. “I have already said that post World Cup we have been concentrating on the progress of Rishabh. We need to be patient with him, considering the immense talent that he possesses,” Prasad told Indian Express.
The chief selectors, however, was quick to point that Pant’s workload needs to be managed and they have zeroed in on a few back-up keepers for the same.
“We are monitoring the workload of Rishabh. Of course, we have been grooming backups across all formats. We have the young KS Bharath doing well in the longer format for India A. We also have Ishan Kishan and Sanju Samson doing well in the shorter formats for India ‘A’ and domestic cricket,” the chief selector added.
It is to be mentioned that Prasad had also indicated that it will be up to the Indian team management on whether they want to treat Pant as their first-choice keeper in Test matches or not. “It’ll be up to the Indian team management. They want a better keeper on spinning tracks at home,” Prasad had said when asked whether Pant was still the first-choice keeper or is there a case for Wriddhiman Saha’s return to the playing XI.
Pant, meanwhile has decided to play the first couple of games of the Vijay Hazare Trophy for Delhi despite being in India’s Test squad. The thrid T20I against South Africa is on Sunday (September 22) and the three-match Test series starts from October 2.