ENG vs IND 2018: Former Indian keepers not on the same page regarding Pant's Test future

Rishabh Pant could be tested in the upcoming West Indian Test series at home.

Rishabh Pant needs to be nurtured well, says Mongia | Getty Images

India's regular Test wicket-keeper Wriddhiman Saha's injury offered a golden opportunity to young Rishabh Pant to play his maiden Test series in England after Dinesh Karthik failed to impress with the bat in the first two Tests.

He got his Test career off with a bang and in his first five innings proved that he has the game to excel at the highest level. 

He also smashed his maiden Test hundred in the final Test and became first Indian wicket-keeper to score a Test century in England but Pant was not impressed with his glove work after his maiden Test which raised many concerns over his chances for the next West Indies series at home, as Saha still unfit to play against the Windies. 

Meanwhile, former Indian keepers Nayan Mongia, Kiran More and Deep Dasgupta believe that Pant is still a "work in progress" and a “raw” talent, as well as, the youngster needs to work a lot on the same before he can be trusted as a Test-level wicket-keeper.

Mongia is even against the idea of BCCI selecting Pant based on his IPL form saying that he needs to improve still on the basics of keeping. 

Mongia told Press Trust of India, “He (Pant) is still very raw and I think it's a wrong policy to pick players based on their IPL form. His basics of keeping are not correct. My concern is if he is not able to keep to spinners in England, he will have problems on fourth and fifth day tracks in the sub-continent.”

He further explained, “You need suppleness in shoulders. His shoulders are stiff. Now in England, at least the bounce is not uneven. But the test will be against Ashwin, Jadeja and Kuldeep on the uneven fourth and fifth day tracks in India. Against pacers, he is just diving from the spot.”

Mongia also believes that India should go with Parthiv Patel against the West Indies, saying, “I think Parthiv was the second keeper in South Africa. How come he is not in the scheme of things? I think they should try Parthiv but it's up to the selectors. I don't know why there aren't long-term camps at NCA for young keepers.”

Meanwhile, Dasgupta feels that Pant should be given another chance to prove with his glove work as he is long-term future in the Test cricket. He further added, “Look, Rishabh Pant is your long-term future and he needs to be nurtured well. Yes, there are a lot of areas in keeping that he needs to work on but I don't want to see a player being dumped after one series.”

He said on Pant’s technical flaw, “I think against seamers, he is trying to judge the angle of the delivery from the hand. You can't do that in England. Also he needs to be stable in his position.”

On the other hand, former chairman of selectors Kiran More also agreed with Dasgupta, saying Pant must give another chance against the Caribbeans at Rajkot, though he admitted that the youngster really needs to work a lot on his keeping.

More signed off by saying, “I would ideally give him one more Test match. I feel for the boy. I believe he has been fast-tracked into Test cricket and England is not an easy place to keep wickets. But I would look at the positives. He hasn't dropped any catches even though he has conceded byes. He is a terrific talent. I only hope that this doesn't affect his batting. Yes, he needs to work a lot on his keeping. There is a lot that he can learn in terms of technique. I am ready to work on him and help him out if he wants.”



By Rashmi Nanda - 12 Sep, 2018

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