Rishabh Pant, India’s wicket-keeper has become the darling of the nation after his heroics in the Australia Tests at Sydney and Brisbane, but life wasn’t always as good for him as he struggled with form and fitness during the IPL 2020. Rishabh Pant became the subject of all jokes on social media due to his wicketkeeping and weight issues just before he departed for the Border-Gavaskar series.
Rishabh Pant emerged highest run-getter for India and 3rd highest run-scorer in series with 274 runs in 3 Tests averaging 68.5.
Rishabh Pant Had A Decent Moderate IPL 2020 With Bat But Wasn’t Picked In Limited Overs Series
He had a decent moderate IPL 2020 with the bat, scoring 343 runs from 14 games averaging 31.18 with only 1 fifty but his glovework remained unimpressive which is why he was ignored by the selectors in the limited-overs series in Australia. India then decided to pick Wriddhiman Saha over Rishabh Pant for the series-opener, despite his swashbuckling hundred in the 2nd practice game before the Adelaide Test last month.
But the 23-year-old didn’t lose hope and kept working on his batting and keeping. He finally got his chance in the Boxing Day Test in Melbourne and he did not look back after that.
Talking about his struggles before the Test series, Rishabh Pant said he tried to block out all the outside noise by focusing solely on his game and the process that he followed while preparing for the Australia tour.
“I was feeling the heat each and every day, it’s part and parcel of the game. But as an individual you need to believe in yourself. I was lucky that I had a few people around me who told me to keep believing in myself and just keep working hard,” Pant told Boria Majumdar on Sports Today.
Both Rishabh Pant and Wriddhiman Saha have been picked for the first two Tests in the home series against England next month and it remains to be seen whether the team think tank will play the veteran as a specialist wicketkeeper or include dashing keeper Rishabh Pant after his heroics in Sydney(97) and Brisbane(89*).
Rishabh Pant: Part And Parcel Of Cricketer’s Life Nowadays To Be Criticized For Non-performance
Rishabh Pant’s hard work paid off as he finished the 4-Test series as the 3rd-highest scorer with 274 runs from 3 matches, including the valiant 97 in Sydney and the match-winning 89 not out in Brisbane.
“If you’re moving forward then you’re improving, this is what I’ve learnt during the tough phase. Focus so much on your game that you don’t notice anything else. It’s difficult also to block the outside noise because of social media but I have segregated myself from it.
“When you’re doing well people will write good but when you’re not they will criticize you. Its part and parcel of a cricketer’s life nowadays. So if you don’t focus on the criticism and instead focus on your cricket then that’s much better I guess,” he added.
Rishabh Pant had the highest average of 68.5 among all the batsmen who played at least 3 Tests in the series. Marnus Labuschagne (426) and Steve Smith (313) scored more runs than him but had lower averages since they played a Test more than him.
Captain Virat Kohli had left after the first Test on paternity leave while likes of Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav, Ravindra Jadeja, Hanuma Vihari, KL Rahul, Ravichandran Ashwin were injured at various stages of the Test series which made the task of India winning the Test series even more difficult. But Rishabh Pant’s heroics at Sydney and Brisbane changed the circumstances.