File pic of Rishabh Pant.© BCCI
Rishabh Pant has gone from strength to strength in the last couple of years. He is currently the No.1 choice for the wicketkeeper’s spot in the Indian cricket team across all three formats. Pant’s rise has been quite meteoric as in the upcoming T20I series against South Africa, starting on Thursday, he is also the vice-captain of Team India. Since playing a match-winning knock at the Gabba, Brisbane, which took India to a memorable 2-1 Test series win in Australia in 2020-21, Pant has not looked back. He has also led IPL team Delhi Capitals, which validates his rising stock in Indian cricket even more.
Ahead of the series against the Proteas, Pant was asked about the three qualities one needs to be a good wicketkeeping-batter. Pant’s answer is quite a lesson for the budding cricketers.
“I think one quality would be, you keep yourself agile, because in wicketkeeping you do different type of conditions. So if you are agile enough that’s going to help a wicketkeeper. Second thing, watch the ball till the end. So, sometime what happens as a wicketkeeper we tend to know that the ball is coming and we become relaxed. So, till the time you catch the ball you should be watch it,” Pant said in a podcast on SGTV.
“And the third one is – be disciplined and keep working on your techniques. Everyone has different technique but at the same time if you can come closer to the base, that is going to help everyone.”
Pant’s performance will be in focus against South Africa as he had a below par IPL and would look to contribute to the team’s cause. Veteran Dinesh Karthik is also in the squad and although Pant’s place in the team is cemented, he would definitely want to keep his billing as India’s top wicket-keeper batter intact with good performances.
Pant’s wicket-keeping skills have improved drastically as he has progressed in his international cricket. In the podcast, Pant explained how he took to wicket-keeping early.
“I am trying to give my 100 per cent in each game. I was always a wicket-keeper batsman. As a kid I started doing wicket-keeping. My father was a wicket-keeper too. That’s how I started wicket-keeping,” Pant said on the SG podcast.
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