Rishabh is the future and we need to give him space, says Kohli

Pant has been around for a couple of years now and Kohli feels that he will soon start finishing games more consistently.

Rishabh Pant plays a shot en route to his unbeaten half-century.   -  AP

Skipper Virat Kohli doesn’t want to put undue pressure on young Rishabh Pant as he is the one for the future, who needs to be given some space to display his full potential.

The 21-year-old, who is expected to be Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s successor was widely criticised for his shot selection in the first two games but came up trumps in third T20 International with a cracking unbeaten 65 off 42 balls in company of his skipper.

“We are looking at him (Pant) as the future. He has got a lot of skill and lot of talent. It is about giving him some space and not putting too much of pressure,” the skipper made his intentions clear.

Pant has been around for a couple of years now and Kohli feels that he will soon start finishing games more consistently.

“He’s come a long way since he’s started. It’s about winning and finishing games like these. In international cricket, you need to tackle pressure differently. If he plays like this regularly, we will see his potential shine for India,” Kohli said.

“For the first two games, he was really disappointed as he didn’t get any runs. Sometimes you don’t have the rub of the green but today he made sure that he applied himself and backed his skills, hit the big shots when required.

“He played with the tempo of the innings, the tempo of what was required. I am really looking forward to seeing more performances from him like this. He has got the tremendous talent we all know. It is all about getting into his zone and doing this more often for the team,” the skipper stated.

Chahar brothers impress Kohli

The Chahar brothers - Rahul and Deepak - came in for high praise from Kohli, who described the duo’s bowling effort as outstanding and impressive.

“We wanted to try a couple of guys. We gave both the Chahar brothers a go in this game. It was Rahul’s first game and Deepak’s come back. Playing for the first time, I think he (Rahul) was outstanding with the new ball,” Kohli said.

“Pitch didn’t have much, there was a bit cloud cover but kind of swing he (Deepak) got early and got those three wickets really set West Indies back and they could not get to a big total,” he added.

 

Kohli also lauded Bhuvneshwar Kumar, describing him as a “skilful bowler” but said it was Deepak’s performance that impressed him a lot.

“I think it was his (Bhuvneshwar’s) execution that pushed them back. Bhuvi is always been professional, a very skilful bowler.

“But I was definitely impressed with Deepak and how he bowled even with Rahul how he came back in the third over and got a wicket. I think it was a really good day for us as a fielding team, as a bowling unit and Deepak started it all for us,” said the 30-year-old.

 

A 3-0 whitewash is certainly satisfactory and the skipper would like to carry on the momentum into the ODI series.

“We want to be as professional as possible in the ODIs and Tests. We want results, to win games of cricket. The Windies ODI team is even stronger, so it will be hard work, but we will try to have fun as a team for a month.”

'Too far to think about 2023'

India had exited the recent ODI World Cup after losing in the semifinal to New Zealand and Kohli said the next one in 2023 is too far right now to think about and instead his team’s aim is to be the one of most consistent sides in the world.

“It’s too far to think about 2023 right now. For us, the priority always has been to be one of the most consistent sides in the world. I think in the last 3-4 years we have been able to achieve that.

“We are the number two side in the world and there is a good reason for that. We have been going to number one as well sometime,” he said.

“You really start planning for the World Cup and looking forward to it 12 months to go and not four years away. The priority is to keep Indian cricket at the top."

India will next play three ODIs, commencing on August 8 at Providence stadium.