India’s former batsman Mohammad Kaif was delighted to note that Rishabh Pant had put a prize on his wicket in the second innings of the Oval Test match. Pant came to the crease after the dismissal of Ajinkya Rahane and had to prove his mettle as he hasn’t been in good form.
Furthermore, the team was under the pump as Virat Kohli was soon dismissed. However, Pant played according to the match situation and curbed his natural attacking game. Pant was dismissed while trying to play a big shot against Chris Woakes in the first innings but he showed more trust in his defense in the second innings.
Pant has good defensive skills and he showed that he can bat with patience. The southpaw rotated the strike with guile as the field was spread and added a crucial alliance of 100 runs with Shardul Thakur. Pant scored a fine fifty but he was dismissed right after reaching his personal milestone when he tried to hit Moeen Ali for a big shot but was caught and bowled by the off-spinner.
Mohammad Kaif said while talking to Sony Sports, “I had sent a message – trust your defense. But he did not send a reply, he replied with his bat. I was happy that he put a value on his wicket and tried to change himself, that he has to play defensively and leave the ball.”
“The foot also came forward. There was no shortcoming seen in his defense. When he made up his mind, told himself that he can defend, he was playing with soft hands, this will make him a better player in the future.”
Kaif added that Pant should follow the footsteps of Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, and Cheteshwar Pujara, as all three of these players have been consistent performers for the team.
“I don’t know if he maintains a diary, but he should write the names of Rohit Sharma, Pujara and Virat Kohli in it. They should be heroes for him, on how he should change his game by watching them.”
“You can’t make a big score by dancing down the wicket and playing the big shots. It might happen on an odd occasion but if you want to have a long career, play for 10-12 years, which should be his aim as well, he has to combine defense with a little bit of attack. Spending time at the crease is important.”