Rishabh Pant is here to stay for 10 to 15 years: Suresh Raina

Rishabh Pant is here to stay for 10 to 15 years: Suresh Raina

Rishabh Pant has performed brilliantly with both bat and wicketkeeping gloves in the ongoing season.

Rishabh Pant and Suresh Raina
Rishabh Pant and Suresh Raina. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Former India batsman Suresh Raina has named Washington Sundar and Rishabh Pant as the youngsters who have impressed him the most with their performances in the ongoing season. Several debutants and youngsters have played key roles in India’s impressive triumph over Australia and England in the season.

The likes of T Natarajan, Mohammed Siraj, Shubman Gill, Washington Sundar, Shardul Thakur, Rishabh Pant, and Axar Patel are some of the youngsters who have made a name for themselves by doing well in this season. But the two who have impressed Raina the most are Sundar and Pant. Both the players played key roles, scoring impressive fifties during India’s historic series-clinching win over Australia at the Gabba in January.

The duo then impressed against England too. While Sundar scored two fifties, Pant scored two fifties as well as a century as India won the series 3-1. The performance in Tests helped Pant earn a recall for the limited-overs team and he made the most of it. In 4 T20I innings, he scored more than 20 runs on every occasion before scoring two quickfire fifties in the subsequent three-match ODI series.

I am a big fan of Rishabh Pant: Raina

Speaking to Hindustan Times, Suresh Raina started by praising both Sundar and Pant and called himself a fan of the latter. The southpaw was all praise for Sundar’s performance in Tests before he lavished praise on Pant. Raina pointed out just how bad things were for Pant when he was not doing well with the bat. The former India star also praised Pant for his performance against England and Australia and stated that a player like him needs to be backed. Raina also stated that Pant looks set to play for India for 10-15 years.

“Washington Sundar and Rishabh Pant, I am a big fan of. The way “Washi” played in the first Test match (Chennai, V England), he didn’t get a wicket but he showed that he can bat. He has been there in the system for some time now and he has played two to three IPLs. But Test cricket is different. You need to be really strong-headed,” Raina said when asked to name the debutant who has impressed him the most.

“As far as Pant is concerned there were fitness issues. He was going through a really bad phase. ‘Koi bhi use mandir ka ghanta samajhke bajake chale jara tha, (everyone was criticising him).’ First, since the Australia tour, he has looked like scoring big in every innings. Against Jack Leach, it felt like he would hit a six off every ball. For a stroke player like him, you need to give him the license to hit.

“Sometime, when he gets out playing the big shots, you need to support him. Like what Brian Lara used to say. When the time is good such players score a lot of runs but when it’s a tough time those runs should be a reminder of the player’s ability. He needs to be backed and Virat is doing it. Pant is here to stay for 10 to 15 years,” he added.