Is Rishabh Pant the Future Cricket Star as a Wicketkeeper for Team India?

While the young 21-year-old Pant was criticized for his ordinary wicket-keeping work, which conceded a few extra runs against England in 2018, he made a brilliant comeback in Australia’s Test Series. Since then, Pant is one of the top choices in Indian cricket team and Fantasy Cricket game played by cricket-lovers. Fantasy cricket is a virtual cricket game played on app or website and is becoming a popular gaming destination for cricket fanatics.

Achievements of Rishabh Pant as a Wicketkeeper for the Indian Cricket Team

In the third test match against Australia, on the fourth day, Rishabh equalled the wicket-keeping record of Naren Tamhane and Syed Kirmani by taking his 19th catch of Tim Paine (Australian Captain). Earlier, such a feat was achieved by Tamhane in 1954-55 and Kirmani in 1979-80, both against Pakistan in a Test series.

  • Kirmani and Tamhane had taken six and seven matches, respectively to achieve this record, but Pant equalized their record within just three Test matches in Australia.
  • On the final day of the Test against Australia, Rishabh broke both their records by grabbing the 20th catch of Nathan Lyon, and became the first Indian wicketkeeper in a Test cricket to grab maximum catches in a series.
  • Rishabh had also equalled the world record of Jack Russell and AB de Villiers, by taking 11 catches, for the most number of catches by a wicketkeeper in a Test. That fateful 31-run win Test match was clinched by India against Australia in Adelaide.

Is Rishabh Pant as Good As Dhoni in Wicket-Keeping for Team India?

On the other hand, M.S. Dhoni stood on the fourth position in the list with 17 catches against a five-Test series against England in 2014, and four-Test series against West Indies in 2006. We can say, after a few initial hiccups, Rishabh is definitely improving his show behind the stumps. His popularity has also made him one of the top players people include in their fantasy cricket online team. In the Test series against Australia in December 2018, Pant had also chipped in some crucial runs.

He had scored 191 runs, becoming the fifth highest run-scorer in that particular series. His fantastic show in the last few years both in batting and wicket-keeping has brought a new hope for the Team India. M.S. Dhoni, who is renowned for his unorthodox wicket-keeping and batting, has retired from the Test format of cricket.

As a replacement, the youngster Pant is proving to be an important asset for India, as already expressed in his reliable performance against Australia in 2018.  This was also the first Test series that India won against Australia on Australian soil. The Series was thus not just a record-setting for Pant, but for Team India as well.

Critical Comments on Pant’s Wicket-Keeping Technique

Though Pant has earned many praises, his wicket-keeping technique has also attracted criticism. Some experts think he tries to ape Dhoni’s technique of collecting the ball from in front of the stumps. While this is against the basic wicket-keeping technique, Dhoni was able to work a magic out of it, but Pant has not adapted to it yet. Thus, many choose Dhoni as a wicketkeeper than Pant on fantasy cricket app, even today.

Also, Rishabh seemed to have a more sideways movement, while it should have been more of open-chested stance to maintain balance and keep head still. But after regular practice, he seems to have learnt from his mistakes, such as not pointing the finger towards bowler but the ground to avoid injuries and improve the chances of taking catches.

Future Prospects of Rishabh Pant in the Indian Cricket Team

To conclude, Pant definitely has a lot to learn when it comes to wicket-keeping like Dhoni. But, he is just 21 years old, and will surely improve his game-play, simultaneously putting up awesome knocks with his bat against opponents. He is already having a mind-boggling performance as a batsman in IPL 2019 for the Delhi Capitals team.

Rishabh Pant has however not been chosen for 2019 ICC Word Cup for Team India. Rather, Dinesh Karthik has been picked for the Indian squad as a back-up wicketkeeper to Dhoni. Since Dinesh can also bat well, the selectors had to make a hard choice and exclude Pant, a decision that has been criticized by many.The reason for Karthik’s section is greater experience compared to Pant in terms of wicket-keeping.

But Pant has a great potential both as a batsman and a wicketkeeper, and seems to have a bright future in Team India, as someone who can churn runs with his bat, as well as seal wickets with glove-work. So, if you want to play fantasy cricket and win cash daily, then do not forget to choose Pant as a wicket-keeper for your team. You fantasy cricket team will definitely have a better chance at scoring big and earning wickets with Pant aboard.

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