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Rishabh Pant’s footwork behind the stumps is not good: Syed Kirmani

Rishabh Pant recently played his 4th Test.

Rishabh Pant
Rishabh Pant. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Former India wicketkeeper Syed Kirmani believes gloveman Rishabh Pant’s footwork behind the stumps needs a lot of improvement. Pant made his Test debut during India’s Test series against England earlier this year after Dinesh Karthik was sent home following his poor run with the bat. The youngster smashed the second ball he faced in Test cricket for a six.

He was eventually dismissed for 24 but also took 7 catches in the match. However, Pant’s overall performance with the bat and the gloves wasn’t noticeable thereafter – his scores in that series were 1, 0, 18 and 5. Pant had also conceded 76 byes in six innings in England. The 20-year old made amends in the fifth and final Test at The Oval by notching up his maiden Test century, albeit in a losing cause.

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The Indian management has shown faith in Rishabh Pant by picking him for the ongoing Windies series. He almost got to a second consecutive Test century on Day 2 of the first Test but was dismissed for an explosive 92 by Devendra Bishoo. Pant will nevertheless have to do his bit with the gloves to make a strong case for selection ahead of the important Australia series.

Pant not adept behind the stumps: Kirmani

Syed Kirmani, although impressed with Pant’s approach to batting, feels the youngster has a lot of room for improvement as a wicketkeeper. Speaking to Indian Express he said, “He reminded me of MS Dhoni when I first heard of him. He was a terrific hitter of the ball but not that technically adept behind the stumps. He worked on his shortcomings and look where that took him.”

“Pant’s footwork behind the stumps is not good. He does not move with the ball, instead dives at the last moment. These will take time. My main point is, look at the young keepers in the country. How will they learn? You have specific coaches for each and every position except for such a specialist role,” he added.

Kirmani was pleased to see the fearlessness with which Rishabh Pant bats, no matter what format of the game he plays. “Pant’s gung-ho approach to batting is quite refreshing to watch. He should not change the way he plays the game. That may lead to trouble. What he should, however, look at is conversion. The classic example today was Virat Kohli at the other end. When he got set, he ensured he reached a century. You should not miss out after doing all the hard work,” he concluded.

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