World Cup 2019: It’s not the end of the world for Pant, says coach Tarak Sinha

Rishabh Pant’s coach Tarak Sinha feels says the keeper-batsman is hardworking and improving with every match.

Pant shone as a wicket-keeper on the 2018 tour of Australia and equalled the world record of most catches in a Test by claiming 11 victims, one more than the Indian record held by Wriddhiman Saha.   -  K. V. S. Giri

Rishabh Pant’s coach Tarak Sinha has accepted his pupil’s non-inclusion in the Indian team for the World Cup with a philosophical approach.

“It’s not the end of the world. He’s young and has a great future. I would be lying if I say I’m not disappointed. I am,” Sinha said on Tuesday.

Pant has a cult following among the youth. He is seen as the best example of hard work paying dividends. From a youngster, who left his home in Roorkee to seek recognition in cricket, Pant has grown into a phenomenon with his batting exploits.

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He shone as a wicket-keeper on the 2018 tour of Australia and equalled the world record of most catches in a Test by claiming 11 victims, one more than the Indian record held by Wriddhiman Saha.

‘Strange argument’

“The record shows Rishabh is a good wicket-keeper. The argument that the selectors were not sure of his work behind the stumps is strange.

“If Rishabh was not good why did he replace Karthik on the England tour (last year). You pick Karthik if you want to, but don’t discourage a youngster by doubting his credentials. Don’t tell me Karthik is young. He is senior to even (MS) Dhoni in this team. I was a wicket-keeper myself and know that Karthik is good with the gloves and is a decent batsman too. I wish him well,” said Sinha.

As Sinha pointed out, it was to Pant’s credit that he grabbed the chance when it came his way in England and Australia.

“He has hit centuries in countries where batting becomes a challenge because of the pitches and the conditions. By excluding him, have we not taken a step backwards,” asked the celebrated coach.

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‘Hardworking’

On Pant’s technical deficiencies, Sinha asserted, “Did Dhoni or Karthik not miss stumpings or catches ever? Rishabh may not be perfect but he is very hard working. He is improving with every match.”

Pant, assured his coach, is not “reckless” as some feel. “He always bats to instructions from the team management. He knows the importance of putting value to his wicket but he is not selfish.”