Rishabh Pant, the rising star of Indian Cricket Team missed out on a couple of well deserved centuries in the recently concluded series against West Indies. The 21-year-old scored a well fought 92 runs in the second Test before an outstanding catch by Shimron Hetmyer sent him back to the pavilion. He had got an identical score in the Rajkot Test.
This could have been his second Test hundred but he missed out trying to take the aerial route. Speaking about the missed opportunity, he said, "I think about that only a little (on missing out of his ton), I need to convert these into hundreds in the future."
It's never too easy for a youngster to get comfortable in the team. Pant thanked his teammates for settling him down, "It has been a good experience for me playing Test cricket. The team is very helpful, everyone is helping me to grow in terms of batting and keeping. My goal is to keep playing for a long time for the country."
Pant put up a partnership with Indian Test vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane in the first innings of the second Test. Their 152-run partnership helped India to survive the scare of getting bowled out early.
Praising the young Delhi batsman, Rahane said, "It was good fun (on the partnership with Pant), I was trying to control him yesterday, but it was hard. We knew one good partnership would put them (West Indies) down. It was good that he played within himself."
The southpaw had a good home series. He scored 184 runs in the two-match series against West Indies. India will play Test series against Australia in December-January and Sunil Gavaskar believes Pant is appropriate for the wicket-keeping role looking at his current form. He says he would pick him over Wriddhiman Saha.
"Looking at the way Rishabh Pant has settled in the team, I wouldn't disturb the combination at all. He can be someone like Adam Gilchrist or Quinton de Kock to come down the order and if four wickets have fallen early, to take the game away from the opposition. So, that has to be encouraged. He can be destructive. If there is an Ajinkya Rahane or Virat Kohli at the other end, that'll be an absolutely deadly combination.
"His wicket-keeping is improving every day, the more he keeps wickets to Ashwin and Jadeja the better. He hasn't kept wickets to them before. He will get better with time and the more he keeps wickets to them, he will get used to their spin, varieties and he'll be that much better with every game he keeps to them. Unfortunate for Wriddhiman Saha but with current form and performance, Pant slots into the XI straight away," Gavaskar told India Today.
Not only Gavaskar, but the Indian head coach Ravi Shastri is also convinced the youngster is ready for the role. "He's such a good batsman and is good with the gloves as well. We have to go on according to the present form for team selection in Australia," Shastri said.
(With inputs from India Today)