Here's why Ravi Shastri continues to back Rishabh Pant
Young Indian wicket-keeper batsman Rishabh Pant has been on the receiving end of late following his immature gameplay and failing to convert starts into a big score. Nonetheless, Indian head coach Ravi Shastri, who was vocal of late about his silly mistakes, has said that the youngster still has everyone's support in the dressing room and the team management. Here is why.
Shastri had claimed last week that if Pant messed up his gameplay any further, he would receive a 'rap on the knuckles'. However, Shastri later retaliated, saying that he had said so to pull Pant up. "I spoke about 'the rap on the knuckles'. If someone goofs up, I have to pull them up. Am I there only to play tabla?" questioned Shastri.
"But, this guy is world-class, this guy can be destructive, can be a destroyer. And we will give him all the support that he needs to prosper in international cricket," Shastri was quoted as saying to Hindustan Times.
Shastri continued to praise Pant as a 'brutal match-winner' and termed it the reason as to why the management has so much patience with him. "Pant is in great space with this Indian team. He is a special kid and he has already done enough. And, he is only going to learn. This team management will back him to the hilt," asserted Shastri.
Pant has been heavily criticized of late, especially for his irresponsible style of gameplay. Shastri had pointed out the very fact following his poor outing in the ODIs against Windies last month, where he could only manage just 20 runs in three matches. He also managed to score just 19 runs in the just-concluded T20Is against South Africa.
Meanwhile, former opener Gautam Gambhir has said that the team management should talk to Pant, while he should be given the freedom to play freely. "If you curb him, he won't play to his potential. You have to accept that Pant will not always get his shot-selection right. On his day, he can win you a game," wrote Gambhir for Times of India.