India's wicket-keeper batsman Rishabh Pant has been in terrific touch since the Australia tour. He's now showing that all the hype about him was worth it if there was any doubt.
Former India batsman Virender Sehwag praised Pant and called him a potential cricketer to become India's next big superstar.
Pant smashed back-to-back half-centuries in the ODI series against England and both the innings came at a crucial time, especially the one in the third ODI. He scored 77 runs off 40 balls in the 2nd ODI, and then smashed 78 runs in 62 balls in the 3rd ODI; his highest ODI score.
Sehwag, on Cricbuzz, said Pant's fearless batting reminds him of his early days.
"The biggest positive that has come out of the series is Rishabh Pant. Because when he comes to bat in the middle overs in the ODIs, and the 2nd powerplay comes up, he uses it perfectly."
"I feel it is important for him to stay in this team, he has quite a positive mindset. He reminds me of my early days. He doesn't think much what others are saying, he just goes out to bat," he quoted.
Sehwag feels Pant will have to start taking responsibility and convert the starts into a hundred. He will also have to end the innings which could be very beneficial for India if he performs the role consistently.
"But only if he learns how to bat for full 50 overs, and bats till the end, and learns to convert the 70s-80s into 100s, he could be the next superstar for India. The wicket was very good, the ground was short. Sometimes, you will get slow wickets, and you will not be able to hit your shots. How he gets out of those situations is very important to know, so he must know that," Sehwag said.
"In the IPL, when he was not able to score runs, he must have changed something which was why he was able to score runs in Tests. But in ODIs, and in T20Is, if he learns to bat till the end, and make the most of my abilities, then he can be the next superstar in white-ball cricket," he signed off.
Pant has silenced his critics with the performance over the last few months. Not only he got runs with the bat, but the wicket-keeper batsman has also done well behind the stumps.
(With Cricbuzz Inputs)