Irfan Pathan has said that current dashing keeper Rishabh Pant’s belligerent batting has made everyone fall in love with the longest format of the game. Rishabh Pant played a few match-defining knocks in critical junctures to help Team India qualify for the inaugural World Test Championship (WTC) final.
The swashbuckling wicketkeeper-batsman will hope to continue in the same vein in the title decider as well.
Irfan Pathan: Rishabh Pant Has Made Valuable Runs And Helped India Win
During a discussion on Star Sports, former pacer Irfan Pathan lauded keeper Rishabh Pant for drawing everyone’s attention towards Test cricket.
“Rishabh Pant has made us love Test cricket. If we say that, not many people will deny it. Because he has played in a fearless fashion. He does the work that Gilchrist used to do, coming in at no. 7 and changing the course of the game,” said Irfan Pathan.
The former India all-rounder Irfan Pathan highlighted that Rishabh Pant has gone through the grind before securing his place in the Indian team as he displaced Wriddhiman Saha as the No. 1 keeper.
“He has made valuable runs and made the team win. This has not happened easily; the performance was not happening, the captain backed him. Wriddhiman Saha used to be the no. 1 wicketkeeper of the team, and to replace him and make his place, centuries in England and Australia. Outstanding cricketer,” observed Irfan Pathan.
Rishabh Pant is the only Indian wicketkeeper to score a Test century in both England and Australia.
Aakash Chopra: Rishabh Pant Has Bounced Back Very Strongly From Indifferent IPL 2020 At UAE And White Ball Team Axe
Aakash Chopra pointed out that Rishabh Pant was sidelined for the initial part of India’s tour of Australia after an indifferent IPL 2020 campaign. Rishabh Pant was not in the Indian team’s scheme of things for a considerable while as he was dropped from the white-ball Australia tour too.
“He had a middling IPL in the UAE and was not in the white-ball team. He was not in the first Test as well because it was the pink ball that moves more, so it was important to play Wriddhiman Saha.”
The former India opener observed that Rishabh Pant’s short but sweet knock in the Boxing Day Test started tilting the balance in his favour as Wriddhiman Saha was dropped after the Adelaide Test debacle.
“After that, when the team folds for 36, and Kohli and Shami have left, then Rishabh Pant is played to strengthen the batting a little, with Jadeja also playing. There he scored twenty-odd runs in the first innings, but it was crucial as it started to change the momentum.”
While reflecting on Rishabh Pant’s scintillating knocks in Sydney and Brisbane, Aakash Chopra lauded the 23-year-old for staging a fabulous comeback to the team.
“After that knock in Sydney and what he did at the Gabba, you have confidence in your abilities, but you have self-doubt also at times because of which you have seen the change in his game as well. If you are a 22-24 year-old kid, you will have ups and downs in life, and he has seen a lot at a young age. He has bounced back very strongly from it.”
Rishabh Pant’s 97-run knock in the Sydney Test raised the prospect of an unlikely India to win before they had to settle for a draw. However, the left-hander was not to be denied in Brisbane, as he took India to a series-clinching win by scoring an attacking unbeaten innings of 89. The wicketkeeper-batsman has amassed 662 runs in 11 Tests at an average of 41.37 in the WTC cycle.