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Farokh Engineer doesn’t think Rishabh Pant can be excluded for the World Cup

"He’s young he will learn from mistakes."

Rishabh Pant of India
Rishabh Pant of India. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

Rishabh Pant has been in exemplary form in Test cricket, both as a batsman and as a wicketkeeper. But he hasn’t had the best of times in ODI cricket. The 21-year-old made his debut in the five-match series against Windies, but couldn’t live up to expectations. Subsequently, he was left out of the ODI squads that is scheduled to play three ODIs against Australia and New Zealand respectively.

In the meantime, former Indian cricketer Farokh Engineer reckons that Pant shouldn’t be dropped for the World Cup, that is set to get underway on May 30, for his superlative performances of late. Engineer said that the approach Pant employs is pretty comparable to MS Dhoni.  The 80-year-old also raised concerns about the 37-year-old Dhoni’s selection for the mega tournament.

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I don’t want to sound harsh

“His approach is same as MS Dhoni’s. But don’t praise him sky-high at the moment. Encourage him. (But) He’s technically so incorrect. Question is, for the World Cup will you pick Dhoni? How can you drop Pant? He’s done so well. These are the questions for the selectors the three selectors who between them must have played one and a half Tests,” Engineer was quoted as saying in The Indian Express.

Pant recently equalled the World Record of most catches in a Test match (11) during the opening Test against Tim Paine’s Aussies at the Adelaide Oval. Farokh, also a wicketkeeper in his playing days, said that Pant needs time to improve his keeping skills and he will learn from the mistakes. Engineer also said that the way Pant threw his wicket away in Adelaide wouldn’t have been acceptable in his generation.

“I don’t want to sound harsh. Give him time. He (Pant) will improve. I wish I could have a couple of times with him to make him a good wicket keeper. A good wicket keeper moves his feet, goes to the ball and does not dive all the time; uses his feet all the time. He’s young he will learn from mistakes.

Wicket-keeping is not taught, it’s a natural thing. He has to iron out certain elementary things. I love his approach, but the way he got out in the first Test when India were in trouble. He got out to a stupid shot. If he had done that in our time he would not have played another Test,” he added.

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