'He is absolutely worth it': Swann says 23-year-old Indian player is 'an absolute goldmine ready to be unearthed'
- "He is a match-winner. All I want to say to cricket fans in India - don't fix what isn't broken. You have some absolute goldmine ready to be unearthed and used well for 10 years," Swann said.
Indian cricket has seen many young cricketers make their name in international cricket in the past 2 years. The fearless attitude of some young cricketers has been lauded by many former and current international players in the past year. One of the brightest talents to emerge out of the country in the last few years has been wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant. However, the swashbuckling batsman has faced a lot of criticism from former cricketers and Indian fans for his attacking style of play.
Pant was recently criticised for playing a risky shot that led to his dismissal in India’s second innings of the World Test Championship final. Pant had moved to 41 with four boundaries in his usual style – trying to get on top of the bowlers – but perished trying to hoick Trent Boult for a six.
Pant’s approach was questioned by the likes of Sunil Gavaskar, Irfan Pathan, Aakash Chopra, and more, who felt that the batsman should have batted with a little bit of caution since India had lost overnight batsmen Virat Kohli and Cheteshwar Pujara in quick succession. However, former England spinner Graeme Swann has jumped to Pant's aid, asking him not to change and urging the Indian team and its fans to back the way the batsman plays.
"He is a match-winner. All I want to say to cricket fans in India - don't fix what isn't broken. You have some absolute goldmine ready to be unearthed and used well for 10 years. Don't change Rishabh Pant. Let him fail. Let him be. He is absolutely worth it," Swann told SportsKeeda.
Swann reminded how it was because of Pant's swagger in the first place that India were able to win matches in Australia and against England at home. Without Pant's terrific century in the final Test, where he played an outrageous reverse sweep/scoop off James Anderson, India wouldn't have made it to the final of the World Test Championship.
"India have got an absolute superstar in Rishabh Pant going in at 6 or 7. Just go back one Test match in India’s history. That magnificent century he scored against England (in Ahmedabad) that won them that series. Never forget that," the former off-spinner added.
"It was a counter-attacking innings, played against the grind, playing against the spin a lot of times. It was a brilliant hundred. Had he got in there and 'played the situation' and tried to block it, India would not have won that game. It is as simple as that."