Rishabh Pant, Indian wicket-keeper batsman has earned huge praise from Australian legendary pacer Glenn McGrath, who has even compared him to former wicket-keeping legend Adam Gilchrist.
After former Australian captain and coach of Delhi Capitals, where Rishabh Pant plays in IPL, Ricky Ponting drew similarities between Rishabh Pant and Adam Gilchrist, Glenn McGrath has also admitted that the youngster reminds him of the legendary Aussie keeper.
Rishabh Pant Reminds Glenn McGrath Of Adam Gilchrist As He Isn’t Afraid To Play Shots
Rishabh Pant, who is known for his swashbuckling and aggressive style of batting, has often been criticized for playing reckless shots and gifting his wicket. Despite being handed several opportunities in all 3 formats, the left-hander has failed to cement his spot in the Indian team.
Rishabh Pant was dropped from the limited over T20I and ODI squads for the ongoing Australian tour but travelled as part of the Test squad. However, he was not selected in the first Test in Adelaide where Wriddhiman Saha was preferred before the Bengal wicket-keeper’s poor show paved way for Rishabh Pant’s inclusion in the ongoing second Test in Melbourne. Rishabh Pant scored a ton against Australia A in 2nd warm up match.
Rishabh Pant batted at number 6 for India in their first innings at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) on 2nd day of the Boxing Day Test and scored a quick 29 off 40 balls laced with 3 fours. He looked in great touch but failed to convert his start into a big score yet again. Glenn McGrath lavished praise on Rishabh Pant and said he reminded him of his former Australian teammate Gilchrist.
“Rishabh Pant reminds me of Adam Gilchrist as he plays. Always he playing shots and is never afraid to play any shot. If you see them at the crease, they always keep doing something,” Glenn McGrath said on the Sony Sports Network.
Rishabh Pant is still young and hasn’t played much cricket in comparison to veteran Adam Gilchrist. He averages 26.71 in 16 ODIs and averages only 20.5 in 28 T20Is. In IPL though, he has a strike rate of 151.97 and average of 35.24. His strike rate dropped considerably in IPL 2020 where he managed to hit only a solitary fifty. Adam Gilchrist has played 96 Tests and 287 ODIs from 1996 to 2008.
Rishabh Pant Should Be Backed As He Has Lot Of Ability And Potential To Succeed: Ajit Agarkar
Former India pacer Ajit Agarkar, who was part of the discussion panel along with Glenn McGrath, said the dashing keeper should be backed by India a lot more in international cricket as he is too good a player to be ignored.
While Ajit Agarkar acknowledged that the 23-year-old has not done proper justice to the limited opportunities that he got, he can win games single-handedly if the team management backs him.
“Glenn just said that he is a bit like Adam Gilchrist. So if he’s got that X-factor why would you not have him in the team. Ok, in this game he’s batted at No. 6 so you’ll always get that from Rishabh Pant. There was bounce on that ball… it was close for him to cut. But you could see how much he’s worked on a pitch against a bowler whom players have to work hard against,” Ajit Agarkar said.
“He’s a young player. When you have that sort of ability and potential in someone, might as well back him as much as you can. There will be few mistakes along the way but you’ve got to take it because he’ll win you a few games along the way as well,” he added.
Rishabh Pant has performed reasonably well in Tests compared to limited-overs where he has thrown his wicket away most of the time and hasn’t converted starts into good big scores. He averages 38.32 in 14 Tests and did well against West Indies and Australia at overseas tours in 2018-19.