India’s captain Rohit Sharma has backed under-fire keeper-batsman Rishabh Pant and has urged the critics to stop hauling him up for slightest of mistakes. The poor keeping and schoolboy mistakes by Pant have been the talk of the town in this series against Bangladesh.
The 3rd T20I match will be played at Nagpur on November 10 and Rohit Sharma addressed the press on the eve of the deciding match. "You know there is a lot of talk happening about Rishabh Pant every day, every minute. I just feel that he needs to be allowed to do what he wants to do on the field. I would request everyone to keep their eyes away from Rishabh Pant for a while," skipper Rohit said.
Pant made a silly mistake while stumping Liton Das in the second T20I, as the 3rd umpire decided that Pant had collected the ball in front of the stumps and ruled the ball a no-ball, giving Das a life and a free hit.
"He is a fearless cricketer and we (team management) want him to have that freedom. And if you guys take your eyes off him for some time, it will allow him to perform even better," added Rohit.
Pant, who was the first-choice keeper in all three formats, lost his place to Wriddhiman Saha in the three Tests against South Africa at home last month only on the basis of superior glovework. With the bat, he has not been able to carry his IPL form into the T20 Internationals, having scored 352 runs in 22 games at 20.70. In 12 ODIs, he has scored 229 runs at 22.90.
"He is a young guy, 22, trying to make his mark in international cricket. Every move he makes on the field, people start talking about him. It is not fair. I think we should allow him to play his cricket which actually he also wants to do," Rohit mentioned.
"Focus on him a lot more when he is doing good things also, not just bad things. He has been learning, there have been times he has kept well also. He is trying to do what the team management wants him to do," the Mumbai cricketer added.