A former keeper himself, chief selector MSK Prasad wants Rishabh Pant’s glovework to improve
Prasad seeks a training module to be created for 20-year-old Pant whereby he can sharpen his skills under the watch of a specialist wicket-keeping coach.
Updated - Sep 16, 2018 8:08 pm
Being a former wicketkeeper himself, Indian chief selector MSK Prasad has a concern for youngster Rishabh Pant and it is about quality work behind the stumps at the highest level. Pant, who made his Test debut in England in the recently concluded series, slammed a hundred in the final game at the Oval to become the first Indian keeper to achieve the feat in that country.
But while Pant’s fearless batting did impress Prasad, his not-so-organised work with the gloves remained a concern. He had a good debut match at Trent Bridge, hitting a six in the second ball he faced in Test cricket and also took five wickets in one innings. But he conceded far too many bye runs in the six innings that he kept before coming up with a counter-attacking 114 at the Oval though India lost the game.
Batsman Pant impressed Prasad but keeper Pant still hasn’t
“I am really happy the way Rishab batted in the last Test in England. In fact we never had any doubts about his batting skills. My only concern is about his wicket-keeping,” Prasad was cited as saying in an exclusive interview. Prasad had taken a total of 15 catches in his short Test career of six matches. Pant also has 15 now though he has played three less than the former.
Prasad, 43, seeks a training module to be created for 20-year-old Pant whereby he can sharpen his skills under the watch of a specialist wicket-keeping coach.
“Now that he (Pant) has the experience of three Test matches under his belt, he would have understood the areas that he needs to work on.”
“We are also trying to put him under wicket keeping specialist coach for some time. Along with Rishab we have identified few more upcoming wicket-keepres who need to be trained under a specialist coach. I expect Rishabh to serve Indian cricket for a long time.”
Pant’s opportunity to make his debut in Tests came after main wicket-keeper Dinesh Karthik found himself out of form as well as injured. Pant has already played four T20Is for India since 2017 but yet to feature in ODIs. His exclusion from the squad for Asia Cup which kicked off in the United Arab Emirates on Saturday also surprised many.