I have right to scold him when I am unhappy, says Ravi Shastri about Rishabh Pant
Shastri has taken up the responsibility to bring Pant back to his best.
Rishabh Pant continues to find his name in the Indian squads in consecutive series but yet, his fans are worried. The 22-year-old was a sensation even a few months ago and there was a strong protest over not including him in India’s World Cup squad initially. Pant eventually got to play in the tournament but could not impress.
He was still being considered a natural successor to the legendary MS Dhoni but after an ordinary tour of the West Indies, the dashing cricketer has suddenly found his popularity dipping. Pant, who was the side’s No.1 keeper in the absence of Dhoni, did not find a place in the playing XI in the recent Test series against South Africa after failing to deliver in the T20Is preceding it.
And now, another talented keeper-batsman Sanju Samson has made a comeback to the T20I squad for the upcoming series against Bangladesh, putting all the more pressure on Pant to save his place in the squad if not in the XI. While the scenario in India’s wicket-keeper’s department gets intensely competitive, head coach Ravi Shastri’s words will comfort an under-pressure Rishabh Pant. Shastri has said recently that it is his responsibility to get Pant “back to his best”.
Shastri takes up Rishabh Pant’s responsibility
“The team management will ensure there’s a sense of security among the pool of players and we will also ensure that if there’s any lack of communication between the selectors and the players, the team management will step in and make sure that everybody’s on the same page at all times.
“Look at Rishabh for instance — it is my responsibility to get him back to his best when he’s struggling. I have the right to scold him when I’m unhappy as much as I’m sure I’ll give him a standing ovation when he does well,” the 57-year-old said in an interview with Times of India.
On Thursday, chief selector MSK Prasad said while announcing the Indian squads for the twin series against Bangladesh that they are “moving on”, clearly indicating that Dhoni is not a part of the future they are thinking about and the stress was more on Pant who has impressive strike-rates in all the three formats and has belted two international hundreds so far.
“This is our clear thought process that post World Cup we are focusing on Rishabh Pant only,” Prasad said. With Rishabh Pant doing so well and even Sanju Samson coming into the side, I am sure you must be understanding our thought process.” Pant’s skills with the gloves are still suspect while his temperament with the bat has also been criticised a number of times.