The former English batsman, Kevin Pietersen recently said that Rishabh Pant could be an absolute superstar if he has been given time. The young cricketer is, however, criticised by fans for his lacklustre performances with the bat and the gloves.
Despite being just 22-years-old, Pant has received an ample of opportunities to prove his mettle. In fact, the senior cricketers such as Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli, including BCCI President Sourav Ganguly, believe that Pant should receive more chances.
However, the young keeper-batsman has had a hard-luck in cricket and is unable to perform as expected from him. Recently, Pant stroke two sixes in his 9-ball 18 runs in the T20I series opener against West Indies at Hyderabad.
However, in the very next game, Pant let Evin Lewis pass through his gloves when Bhuvneshwar Kumar earned an edge from the batsman in the fifth over. Meanwhile, Pant scored a fair amount of 33 runs off of 22 balls in India’s 170/7 total in the first innings of that game. He was unstoppable at the crease, but his one mistake behind the wickets earned him, and the team was booed on and off-field.
However, backing the young cricketer, the former English cricketer Kevin Pietersen came forth by saying that Pant would be an “absolute superstar” of the team with given the time. Accepting the default in the team’s fielding, the Indian skipper Kohli said that Pant should not be concerned for a few bad performances. Kohli-led India lost the second T20I against the Caribbean by eight wickets, owing to the silly misfields.
Pietersen says Pant needs more time to realise his potential in cricket
The 39-years-old English right-handed batsman believes that when a young cricketer keeps repeating his mistakes, then the former players criticise him so that he should realise it. Pietersen said that he had seen Pant on the field during the Indian Premier League (IPL) and he believed that Pant was full of energy, he just needed to realise it.
The 22-years-old Indian keeper has been a part of 54 IPL matches where he has scored 1736 runs that includes 11 half-centuries and a century.
“He is young and he has that energy and enthusiasm, he plays in the IPL, and he plays for India and is just living his dream. There will be a lot of critics around him, he’s only 21 (22). I observed him very closely during the IPL and he kept making the same mistake and when you do that continuously then pundits, experts and people who have played the game want to criticize you because you should be learning from your mistakes,” Pietersen said on Star Sports’ ‘Nerolac Cricket Live’ show.
Pietersen has added that Pant is still too young to be missing out on his opportunities, and if given time, he will mature and be an “absolute superstar” for India.
“But I never realized he’s 21, I thought he was 24 or 25 because by that age you have matured in your game and at the age of 27-30 is when you are playing your best sport. He will be looked upon on his performance and he is 21 (22), so will he be able to buy the time to be an absolute superstar in Indian cricket is what we need to see, and I think he actually can,” Pietersen signed off.