Former India selector and wicketkeeper-batsman Kiran More on Thursday (May 27) heaped praise on Rishabh Pant, saying the talented youngster has the potential to lead the Indian cricket team in the future as he has the right mindset and skills to take Indian cricket forward.
For the now-suspended Indian Premier League (IPL 2021), Pant was named Delhi Capitals (DC) captain and the young wicketkeeper-batsman has outstandingly led the side, taking DC to the top of the table by winning six out of eight games in the tournament.
The former cricketer also mentioned that the left-hander, who has also the experience of leading Delhi in the domestic circuit, has a sharp mind and great mindset that makes him capable of leading India and achieve a lot of things for Indian cricket, though, said it is up to the individual’s discipline and vision too.
More told India TV: “Rishabh Pant has the potential to take the Indian team forward. He can lead the side in the future. The kind of mindset he has, he can definitely become the captain of India.”
He added, “Rishabh Pant has a sharp mind, he can achieve a lot of things. But it is also up to the individual, how disciplined you are, how do you see the future.”
Meanwhile, the 23-year-old has had a mixed putting so far in the international cricket, as he was in and out from the Team India and even he was dropped from all three formats of the game before Australia tour, though, now he is now returned to India’s all formats given his recent batting performances and More believes the bad phase early in his career has made him mentally stronger for the challenges.
He further explained, “If you see Rishabh Pant’s graph it has been full of ups and downs. The bad phase has made him mentally strong. He was not picked for the World Cup at first, was dropped from T20Is and ODIs as well. But the way he made a comeback through Test cricket is what makes you a real cricketer. Making a comeback after you get dropped is always the hardest but Pant has shown that he belongs at that level. He will take Indian cricket forward.”
On the comparison between MS Dhoni and Pant, the former wicketkeeper-batsman said: “Rishabh has come into the Indian team at a very young age. He is still very young. So you have to give time to a player (to mature). Yes, he will make mistakes here and there, that is natural. When Mahi came, he was a lot matured. He was not as young as Pant when he came into the Indian team. Pant, on the other hand, has come up through the U19 ranks and is a rare talent. He needs to be nurtured well.”
More also said the legendary Dhoni has paved the way for keepers to be considered as captain as earlier wicketkeepers’ wasn’t considered for the leadership role.
He signed off by saying, “Earlier, people used to say that a wicketkeeper cannot be a captain as it is very difficult to concentrate, keep an eye on the field placements, bowling changes, it can play on your mind and you can miss chances behind the stumps but MS Dhoni changed it all around. But I know I think, especially in shorter formats a wicket-keeper can be a very good captain. Even in IPL, you have a lot of wicket-keepers who captain their sides like MS Dhoni, KL Rahul, Rishabh Pant.”