The year of 2021 has been absolutely sensational for young Indian maverick wicket-keeper batsman Rishabh Pant. He began the year with the historic heist of Gabba – a memory that will live in the minds of Indian fans for the rest of their lives.
Pant then followed up that success in Australia with dominant performances against England at home. He even registered his third Test century against England at the Motera Stadium in Ahmedabad and became only the second wicket-keeper after the legendary Adam Gilchrist to score a Test century in India, England, and Australia. The southpaw taking on veteran bowler Jimmy Anderson with a reverse-sweep over slip was the highlight of that innings and perfectly encapsulates him as a risk-taking batsman.
Pant has been included in the squad for the upcoming tour of England where Virat Kohli’s men will play the World Test Championship Final against New Zealand and then take on the home side in a five-match Test series.
Conditions in England can prove to be daunting and often challenge batsmen. This will be Pant’s second red-ball assignment in England and ahead of the tour, legendary World-Cup winning captain Kapil Dev has a piece of advice for the youngster.
The Haryana Hurricane believes Pant should look to spend more time in the middle instead of trying to hit every ball. “He looks a very mature cricketer now from the time he came into the side. He seems to have far more time to play his shots and obviously his range of strokes is awesome. But England will be challenging. He must spend more time in the middle and not just look to hit every ball,” he said in a chat with Mid-Day.
Kapil Dev also likened Rishabh Pant’s explosive tendencies to Indian batsman Rohit Sharma.
We used to say the same about Rohit Sharma, who had so many shots, but would step out and get out so many times,” Kapil Dev was quoted as saying.
“Same is with Rishabh now. He is an exciting player and very valuable too. All I would tell him is take time before unfolding his range of shots. England is different,” he added.
The legendary cricketer also added that he loves watching Test cricket and mentioned that ‘there is nothing like Test cricket.’
“Of course. I am a big fan of Test cricket. I love watching the full day’s play. If work keeps me away from the TV, I catch up with the highlights. I always watch as much as I can. There is nothing like Test cricket,” he concluded.