Rishabh Pant isn’t out of World Cup plans: selector MSK Prasad
"When we picked him for Tests, experts were sceptical about his keeping."
Updated - Jan 14, 2019 1:23 pm
Rishabh Pant made his ODI debut against Windies back in October and didn’t quite live up to the expectations. He found it tough to time the leather and subsequently, was left out of the ODI series against Australia and New Zealand. With the World Cup, scheduled to be played from May, the exclusion is expected to come as a blow for the Uttarakhand-born wicketkeeper.
However, national chief selector and former Indian cricketer MSK Prasad mentioned that the 21-year-old is in the plans for the World Cup in England and Wales. He also iterated that Pant has been rested owing to the fact that he played the entire T20I and ODI series against the Aussies, which would’ve impacted his body to a significant extent. Prasad also hailed Pant as a champion player.
He proved that he can switch gears
“Rishabh Pant played three T20s and four Test matches in Australia and that had an impact on his body. He needed complete rest for two weeks and then we will take a call on how many matches he will play against England Lions. Let me put it straight, he is very much in our World Cup plans,” Prasad was quoted as saying in India Today.
“He is a champion player in the making and even he is not fully aware the kind of potential he has. Ravi and Virat had advised him to put his head down and respect the match situation and he did exactly that. He proved that he can switch gears seamlessly,” he added.
Earlier in August 2018, Pant made his Test debut against England and opened his account with a six off Adil Rashid. His keeping skills came under the scanner as he conceded a number of byes in the series. Nevertheless, he performed exceptionally in the Test series against Australia with both bat and leather.
Talking about the time, when the selectors had to take a call on giving Pant a Test cap, replacing Dinesh Karthik, despite some experts questioning the move, Prasad remarked: “When we picked him for Tests, experts were sceptical about his keeping but 11 catches in a Test in England, record dismissals in Australia series proves that the selection committee is vindicated.”