'He is as good an any keeper in the world right now' - Deep Dasgupta's praise for Rishabh Pant
Rishabh Pant replaces Hardik Pandya in India's starting eleven against Hong Kong.
Team India is up against Hong Kong in their second match of the 2022 Asia Cup campaign at the Dubai International Stadium. India lost the toss and were asked to bat first after the bowlers dominated the first match against Pakistan. To everyone's surprise, wicketkeeper-batter Rishabh Pant replaced the last match's hero Hardik Pandya in the playing eleven.
Dinesh Karthik had donned the wicketkeeping gloves in the first match against Pakistan and was impressive with three catches. Karthik didn't get a chance to make any impact with the bat but kept his place in the second match as well. Pant is likely to take the gloves from Karthik against Hong Kong and former Indian cricketer Deep Dasgupta also agrees with the management's decision. He said that Pant is an extremely good keeper and will don the gloves ahead of Karthik on BatBricks7 presents Run Ki Runneeti show on CricTracker.
"Rishabh's improvement in keeping has been phenomenal for last two years. At this point, he is technically little unorthodox but is extremely, extremely good now. He is as good as any keeper in the world right now," Deep Dasgupta said on Pant's inclusion in the starting eleven against Hong Kong.
Deep Dasgupta compares Rishabh Pant with MS Dhoni
The 24-year-old left-handed batter has already settled as India's first choice wicketkeeping option in all formats. He has already scored over 2000 runs in Test cricket with an impressive 40-plus average and has been excellent in the ODI format as well. But despite playing 54 matches in the shortest format, he has struggled to make a big impact. He maintains a below 130 strike rate in T20I format which led India to consider Karthik and Sanju Samson in the recent games.
But he is a settled choice to succeed former long-term wicketkeeper MS Dhoni for years to come. Fans and former cricketers always compare Pant's skills behind the stumps with the former captain and Deep also pointed out similarities between two keepers.
"Like MS Dhoni, who was not orthodox with his skills but was the best keeper, and Rishabh is also on the same steps to become the best," Dasgupta added.