Former BCCI chief selector MSK Prasad heaped praise on Indian wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant saying that many people never believed that he would be so good.
Young wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant saw himself in the firing line for his poor keeping skills, fitness issues, and inconsistent batting and then later was dropped from India's limited-overs set-up in 2020.
Pant’s turnaround is one of the most remarkable ones witnessed in the history of Indian cricket. The 23-years-old was one of the main reasons behind India’s triumph over Australia down under in the Border-Gavaskar Trophy and then later dominated England across all formats at home.
Rishabh Pant has amassed 544 runs in the last two-Test series against Australia and England and is also India’s leading run-scorer for Team India in Test cricket this year.
In an interview with cricket.com, former BCCI chief selector MSK Prasad said that when they picked young Indian wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant in the Indian squad many people criticized the selection by saying that he can’t bat and keep wickets in Test cricket.
He lauded Rishabh Pant’s evolution as a dynamic player saying that many people didn’t believe that he would turn into such a good cricketer.
“That’s what we talk about succession. When we picked this guy (Pant), there were a lot of controversies. People said that he can’t bat in Test cricket and can’t keep in challenging wickets. So, what has happened today? See, how he kept wickets against England at home.
"And the way he batted in challenging batting conditions like England and Australia. The role of the selector is to identify the potential. Many people never believed that Pant would be so good,” MSK Prasad told cricket.com.
MSK Prasad talked about the reason behind putting Rishabh Pant ahead of Wriddhiman Saha in the Test team. He further added that the 23-year-old with his stellar performances in Australia has convinced the team management to back him.
“Initially, when we picked Pant in the squad, Saha was the best keeper in the country purely because of his keeping skills. Later, we all accepted the fact that Pant will keep wickets in away series because your keeping skills are not tested much and batting skills become more important.
“With the stellar performances in Australia, Pant has convinced the team management that he needs to be backed even at home and immediately the way he kept wickets against England this year was there for all to see,” he said.
Rishabh Pant would be crucial to Team India’s chances when they will take on New Zealand in the ICC World Test Championship final and the five-Test series against England.