Rishabh Pant has managed to cement his place in the national team as a playing XI regular. He was criticized in the initial part of his career, especially for his wicket-keeping skills, which needed improvement, but he got support from the team management and managed to turn himself into a match-winner.
Rishabh Pant Has Proven That He Is A Match Winner: Yuvraj Singh
“He is very mature and is a find for India because I felt he got a lot of criticism after the ways (in which) he got out. So, it is good to listen to some positive words for him. Rishabh has proven that he is a match-winner.
“In tough conditions like Australia, the way he batted and the way he got a brilliant hundred against England as well. He is probably a key (player) in the middle order,” Yuvraj told TimesofIndia.com in an exclusive interview.
The biggest turning point of Rishabh Pant’s career so far was India’s 2018 tour of Australia. He scored 350 runs in 4 matches at an average of 58.33. In the crucial Sydney Test, with India leading 2-1 and needing a win or a draw to win the series, Rishabh Pant once again accelerated India’s run rate as he scored an unbeaten 159 off 189 balls. India drew the match and clinched their maiden series win on Australian soil.
Rishabh Pant continued his love affair with Australia on India’s last tour in 2020-21. With the team battling multiple adversities and injuries, he scored 97 runs off 118 balls in the third Test and an unbeaten 89 in the fourth Test in Brisbane and was adjudged Man of the match, as India won the match and series.
Rishabh Pant was picked in the playing XI again ahead of Wriddhiman Saha for the home Test series against England. In the four Tests, he scored 270 runs at an average of 54.00, including one century and two fifties. He batted at a strike rate of 84.11 in the four-match series, which India won comprehensively 3-1.
Yuvraj Singh, who played a vital role in India’s two World Cup triumphs (2007 and 2011), sees a glimpse of Australia’s legendary wicket-keeper batsman Adam Gilchrist in Rishabh Pant.
“I see someone, Rishabh Pant, like Adam Gilchrist who can change the course of the game. Gilchrist changed the course of the game in Test cricket when he came onto the scene. And I feel Rishabh can do the same,” Yuvraj told TimesofIndia.com.
“I also see Rishabh as a potential Indian captain in the future. Because he is jumpy, chirpy, and talks around. But I feel he surely has a smart brain as well because I saw him when he was captaining in the IPL for Delhi Capitals.
“He did an incredible job. So, people should look at him as the next captain of the Indian team in the coming years,” Yuvraj, who played 40 Tests, 304 ODIs, and 58 T20Is for India further said.
Named skipper for the IPL 2021 following an injury to Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant, who has 1 hundred and 14 IPL fifties to his name, led Delhi Capitals to the top spot in the points table before IPL 2021 was suspended.
Yuvraj Singh: Current Left-Handers Rishabh Pant, Hardik Pandya, And Ravindra Jadeja Can Change The Course Of The Game Anytime
Over the years, Yuvraj Singh became one of India’s biggest match-winners. He reckons the left-handers Rishabh Pant, Hardik Pandya, and Ravindra Jadeja can change the course of the game anytime.
Responding to this Yuvraj said: “I probably don’t see any left-hander right now in the middle. Overall, we have got some good hitters in the middle. We have got Rishabh. We have got Hardik.
“I think Rishabh and Hardik together as they play more one-day and T20 together, they both will be quite a dynamic duo, batting together. You have Ravindra Jadeja coming in. So, these three guys can change the course of the game anytime. Jadeja has improved by leaps and bounds in one-day cricket and T20 cricket.”
“The left-right combination is always dangerous, as I and MS Dhoni were. So, I am looking forward to seeing Rishabh, Hardik, and Jadeja bat at the 5,6, and 7 slots,” he stated.
Like many other retired cricketers, Yuvraj Singh has also taken to golf in a big way.
“I am playing Golf. In these COVID times, it is quite important to keep a positive attitude,” he asserted.
A recent development for Yuvraj Singh was him being named as the face of Puma Motorsport in India, which saw him join the likes of Thierry Henry, Boris Becker, and Usain Bolt as part of the brand’s global list of legends.
“My association with Puma has been about 10 years now. If you see internationally, their association is with legends. The great thing about Puma is that they don’t let go of their legends, internationally or across.
“But the great thing about Puma is that they still stick to their old legends. Because they feel that the old legends and the new generation are both responsible for making the brand popular.”
Yuvraj was recently spotted playing golf with the likes of Sachin Tendulkar, Ajit Agarkar, and Ashish Nehra.