Rishabh Pant’s batting performance in the recently concluded Tests series in Australia has impressed India batting coach Vikram Rathour. The former India opener said Rishabh Pant will play an ‘extremely important role’ going ahead for India in future.
From not being India’s first-choice keeper as Wriddhiman Saha played ahead of him when the Test series began to one of the heroes of India’s 2-1 series win, Rishabh Pant has come a long way in a matter of three Tests and about four weeks.
Rishabh Pant’s Role Will Be Extremely Important Going Ahead As He Is An Exceptional Player: Vikram Rathour
The 23-year-old wicket-keeper batsman has perhaps seen more highs and lows in his short career so far than most other established international cricketers. He was highest run-getter for India and 3rd overall with 274 runs averaging 68.5 in 3 Tests in recently concluded Test series Down Under.
Vikram Rathour said Rishabh Pant is one of the exceptional players.
“His role will be extremely important going ahead. We have always believed that he is one of the exceptional players,” Rathour said in an interview with Hindustan Times.
After the successful 2018-19 tour to Australia, where he amassed 350 runs averaging 58.33 in 4 Tests, he flopped against West Indies and New Zealand where he averaged less than 20 in 2 Tests in away series. But he returned to form in Australia series in 2020-21. In 7 Tests against Australia, he has 624 runs averaging 62.4.
Vikram Rathour: Rishabh Pant Had A Tough Time Last Year Or So But He Worked And Trained Hard
Vikram Rathour acknowledged that Rishabh Pant had a ‘tough time’ last year with very little opportunity to showcase his skills at the international level. The India batting coach, however, said that the left-hander from Delhi has worked really hard and now turned himself into a match-winner for India.
“He had a tough time last year or so. But he has been working hard, training hard. We all believed (that) on his day, he is a match-winner. In the last two games he proved that. Being a left-hander is definitely an advantage (for the team). As far as his entering the XI (purely) as a batsman, the decision will be taken on that particular day when the question arises,” Rathour added.
Rishabh Pant scored an attacking 97 in the third Test in Sydney. His innings had kept India’s hopes alive of a miracle win but unfortunately, it was not possible after he got out and Hanuma Vihari suffered a hamstring injury. India had to be content with a draw. Rishabh Pant finished the job in the fourth Test in Brisbane by remaining unbeaten on 89 as India chased down a record 328 to become the first side to beat Australia in Brisbane in 32 years.
Rishabh Pant’s ODI average is only 26.71 and in T20I, his average is only 20.5, which is below par as he is often criticized for throwing his wicket away.