India’s wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant is pleased to have experienced a lot of “ups and downs” in his short but eventful international career.
According to Pant, such experiences have only helped him evolved as a player. The 23-year-old, who recently recovered from COVID-19, is gearing up to play his 22nd Test at the same venue (Trent Bridge), where he made his Test debut in 2018 and announced his arrival with a huge six.
“It’s been an amazing journey as I have seen lots ups and downs early in my career. As cricketers, you evolve, learn from your mistakes and improve yourself and comeback to the ground and perform well.
“I am glad that I have learnt from my mistakes and I capitalised whatever opportunity I got after that. I am happy,” he told BCCI.tv on Saturday (July 31).
Pant is trying to pick everyone’s brain in the leadership group in order to become a better player.
“I talk to Rohit bhai a lot — like talking about the game as what we have done in previous matches and what we could have done. Also what we should look to do and look at possible outcomes in future games. What all I can add to my game.
“I also take technical inputs from Virat bhai. Especially playing in England, standing up to stumps or going back,” he said.
“I speak to Ravi bhai (Shastri) a lot as he has played enough cricket all over the world. Ash bhai (Ashwin), when he bowls, he has an idea what the batsman’s intentions are.
“So as a batsman, I can ask the bowler as to what he is thinking. As a player, I want to learn from each and every person,” he added.
Rishabh Pant is having a great year in all forms of the game. The southpaw played match-winning knocks of 97 and 89* in the third and the fourth Test against Australia to help India clinch the Border Gavaskar Trophy Down Under.
He also played a key role in India’s 3-1 Test series win over England at home, scoring a dazzling century in the fourth Test at Ahmedabad.
Thanks to his brilliance in the longest format, Pant also made a comeback to the white-ball side and registered knocks of 77 and 78 in the two ODIs he featured against England earlier this year.
“I think as a cricketer, I have evolved in the last one year or so, because (even though) you keep doing your processes right, you don’t get results but if you have trust your process and keep doing that again and again.
“I have been trusting my process and I am getting the results and that’s the happy part now.”
He recalled how he called up his coach Tarak Sinha to inform him about his Test debut back in 2018.
“I was only 19, when I got an opportunity to play Test cricket. My debut was in Nottingham. It was a dream come true as my coach Tarak Sinha sir told me that ‘If you are not a Test player, I don’t count you as an international player’.
“So when I was picked for the Test match, I called him up and said ‘Sir, I have fulfilled your dream’. That was a happy moment and then I got a hundred at Oval,” he fondly recollected.
Batting in English conditions is considered as one of the toughest challenges in Test cricket and Pant believes that shuffling stance and staying outside the crease to counter the swing have helped him.
“In England, you have to keep in mind that ball will swing a lot. I have been standing outside the crease and using crease in and out as well.
“Especially in these sort of conditions, you have to respect the bowlers a bit more than you do in other places. That’s what I am looking to do as batsman in Test matches,” he concluded.
(With PTI inputs)