Thought Rishabh Pant was a thick-skinned guy but he proved us wrong: MSK Prasad

first_imgChief selector MSK Prasad is immensely happy with the progress Rishabh Pant has made as a batsman and wicketkeeper across formats over the last year. Pant, who had debuted for India in the T20I series against England in 2017, returned to the squad on the back of solid performances in Ranji Trophy and the Indian Premier League.Pant made his Test debut in England last year and made an immediate impression with a classy 114 in only his third Test. At home against the West Indies, Pant made identical scores of 92 in two Tests.It was in Australia that Rishabh Pant truly showed what he was capable of. After throwing away his wicket in the first couple of innings, Pant developed nicely: with scores of 25, 28, 36, 30, 39, 33 and 159 not out, he finished as the second highest run-scorer in the four-Test series against Australia.Besides, Pant also broke the record for most catches by an Indian wicketkeeper in a Test series. He was sent back home to play for India A and missed the ODI series against Australia and New Zealand as the team management wanted him to hone his finishing skills. Pant played a gutsy knock against England Lions on a difficult pitch before smashing an unbeaten 40 in the second T20I against New Zealand to steer India home.Prasad said Pant the wicketkeeper is still a work in progress and added he was happy with the work the 21-year-old from Delhi has put in.”Pant, as I already said, is a phenomenal batsman. He has delivered also. He made 1000-plus runs in his first Ranji season and he has proved himself in the IPL also, where he has been a big revelation,” Prasad told ESPNCricinfo. “As far as his wicketkeeping skills go, he is a work in progress; he has to go through the grind still. But in whatever matches he has played, he has shown glimpses of becoming a good wicketkeeper.advertisement”Before the home Test series against West Indies last year we sent him to the National Cricket Academy to work with [former wicketkeepers] Kiran More and Abhay Sharma. Rishabh kept really well in the series and he has showed progress.”I never thought in such a short span of time he would mature so well. We thought he is a thick-skinned guy, but he has proved he is not that, and he is happy to work hard to meet the requirements needed to play at the highest level,” Prasad said.Rishabh Pant has a great chance to make it to the World Cup even though he did not play the two ODI series Down Under. In 9 Tests so far, Pant has scored 696 runs at an average of 49.71. He has so far played only 3 ODIs (all against West Indies).Also Read | MS Dhoni in ICC’s version of John Lennon’s classic ImagineAlso Read | This is the MS Dhoni we know: MSK Prasad after Australia, New Zealand toursAlso Read | Ajinkya Rahane, Vijay Shankar in World Cup plans, says chief selector MSK PrasadAlso See:last_img read more