India head coach Rahul Dravid has shared his thoughts on wicketkeeper-batter Rishabh Pant following the tourists’ 7-wicket defeat against South Africa in the Johannesburg Test.
Pant became the major talking point due to his dismissal for a three-ball duck in the second innings. His decision to go downtown against Kagiso Rabada at a vital situation of the match was questioned by many, including legendary Indian cricketer Sunil Gavaskar, who was on-air that time.
Reacting to the criticism hovering around Pant, Dravid said the team management would have conversations with the wicketkeeper over his shot selection.
“We know Rishabh plays positively, and he plays in a particular manner, and that has got him a little bit of success. But yeah, of course, there are times when we’re going to have some level of conversations with him around, just a little bit of maybe just selection of the time to play that [shot],” said Dravid in the post-match presser.
Dravid made it clear that no one will advise Pant to change his batting approach but will have some talks regarding when to apply the aggressive method. The 48-year-old mentioned they would not ask Pant to become different as he is a positive player who holds the potential to change the course of the match.
“No one’s ever going to tell Rishabh not to be a positive player, not to be an aggressive player, but sometimes it’s just a question of picking and choosing the time to do that. I think when you just come in, maybe giving yourself a bit more time might be a little bit more advisable, but look, in the end, we know what we’re getting with Rishabh – he is a really positive player, he’s someone who can change the course of a game very quickly for us, so you naturally won’t take that away from him and ask him to become something very different,” explained Dravid.
“Sometimes it’s just about figuring out what is the right time to maybe attack or maybe play out a slightly difficult period that sets the game up for you or sets the innings up. He’s learning. He plays in a particular way, so it’s always something that he’s going to keep learning, he’s going to keep improving and keep getting better,” Dravid added further.
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