Ahmedabad (Gujarat) [India], March 5 (ANI): India opener Rohit Sharma feels wicket-keeper batsman Rishabh Pant is “more than ready” to fill the void created after former skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s retirement.
Considered one of the greatest finishers in modern-day cricket, Dhoni was also the master tactician behind the stumps and after Pant’s heroics on the second day of the fourth Test, Rohit feels Pant is ready to follow the footsteps of the former captain.
The swashbuckling wicket-keeper batsman single-handedly put India in command on the second day of the fourth Test against England with his third century in Test cricket.
On being asked if Pant was ready to fill the void created by Dhoni’s retirement, Rohit in the virtual press conference replied,” He seems to be doing a job for us, so he’s more than ready I guess!”
Having started cautiously, Pant took the English bowlers to the cleaners in the final session to take the game away from the visitors and put the hosts in the driver’s seat.
Rohit defended Pant’s approach in Test cricket saying that the wicket-keeper batsman has his own style of batting and one must back him. The opening batsman also revealed the team has given the license to Pant to play his natural game.
“Pant has his own style of batting. Of course, there have been messages from the team management on how he needs to approach the game but you know he seems to be batting in his own style which seems to be fine,” said Rohit on Friday.
“He is getting the job done and that’s more important for us and you saw in this innings as well. The first half of his innings he was quite respectful and then once we got to 200 he just wanted to take on the bowlers,” he further said.
“You need those kinds of players in your team who are not afraid to take on the bowlers and who are ready to grab the chances with both hands. You should have a mix of players in your squad,” Rohit added.
With wickets tumbling around him, Pant took 82 balls to reach his first fifty runs. But the next 50 came off just 33 balls as he decided to send the English bowlers on a leather hunt.
Rohit explained how Pant’s style of hitting has put India on top after being four down with 80 runs on board in the morning.
“Pant is courageous enough to take chances. There will be times when he will play shots and get out but I don’t want anyone to get upset. As he is the kind of player who will play like that and get the job done for the team. Like today we were on backfoot and suddenly within a span of one hour we were in the drivers’ seat,” said Rohit.
“You need players like Pant and management completely understands this and we are ready to take those chances with him and he has been given that freedom to go on and express himself,” he added. (ANI)