Rishabh Pant’s coach Tarak Sinha feels that his ward has proved himself and silenced his critics for once and all. He also added that his wicket-keeping will also improve with time and felt the presence of the aggressive batsman was intimidating for the Aussies given his match-winning abilities.
When Rishabh Pant arrived at the crease on day five of the Gabba Test, all three results were still possible with 161 needed and India having seven wickets in hand. But hopes of a win diminished when a set Chesteshwar Pujara got out with the visitors still 100 runs short of the target and an out-of-form Mayank Agarwal and inexperienced Washington Sundar and Shardul Thakur to follow. But the Indian southpaw defied all the odds and in what was a mature 89*, stayed till the end in face of extreme pressure to script a historic Test win at the Gabba as India won by three wickets.
Pant, 23, who wasn’t even in the XI for the Adelaide Test, went on to finish the series as the leading run-getter for India and had played a crucial role in the SCG draw as well. Pant’s coach Tarak Sinha reckons that he has proved himself and silenced his critics.
“He (Pant) has now silenced his critics forever with this innings. It’s about having full faith in a player after giving him a chance,” Sinha told PTI, reported HT.
Pant’s batting was great in the series but his keeping in the MCG and SCG Test was under scanner as he dropped quite a few simple catches. He, however, put up an improved show in the final Test with the gloves. Sinha feels he will improve his keeping as he gains more confidence.
“I’m sure his wicket-keeping will improve. Once you are assured of your place in the team, and everyone says you are good, everything else starts falling in place. It’s about gaining confidence.”
“There was only one person to help him — only Pant himself. It’s his quality to stand up and take on the challenge. Credit only belongs to him,” he stated.
2020 was arguably the worst year of Pant’s young international career. He first lost his place in the XI as a gloveman in limited-overs cricket, then had a terrible IPL, which propelled his exclusion from the white-ball sides against Australia. Sinha, who runs Sonnet Cricket Club in Delhi, revealed that a lot was going in Pant’s head as he was in the middle of the worst phase in his career.
“It’s very difficult to motivate yourself when there are criticisms all around you. Personally, it’s a great feeling. He not only did it for himself but made the country proud,” Sinha said.
“There were a lot of things behind his expression-less emotion. He was going through the lowest phase of his career having lost the place from all three formats in 2020.
One of the differences between the southpaws 97 at SCG and 89* at Gabba was the way he approached his innings. Sinha also felt that he showed a lot of thoughtfulness on Tuesday and also told how disappointed the youngster was after Sydney.
“He was more calculated this time and was thoughtful in his innings. He started slowly, then accelerated his innings beautifully. He capitalized on the loose balls and took the match head-on.
“He was very disappointed (post-SCG Test). He told me that ‘I cannot leave a loose delivery’ but I told him sometimes to do well you have to leave out a loose delivery. Today I’m really happy that he stayed till the end.
He also added that Pant’s presence in the side itself was intimidating for the Aussies given his style of batting.
“From my point of view, his presence was intimidating to the Aussies that he can win the match for India from any situation. He showed that exactly, at any point he could turn around the match.”