Rishabh Pant to work under specialist coach: MSK Prasad

Rishabh Pant, who has drawn flak for his keeping and batting form, had earlier worked under former India keeper Kiran More, seeking to improve his glove-work.

India cricketer Rishabh Pant will work under the supervision of a specialist coach to improve his wicket-keeping skills, chief selector MSK Prasad said.   -  AFP

MSK Prasad wants Rishabh Pant to work with a specialist wicket-keeping coach. Former Test stumper Kiran More is willing to offer his services to ensure the young wicketkeeper from Delhi achieves his potential.

Chief selector Prasad rates Pant as a special talent. “He has done well and we have seen glimpses of some good batting recently. He batted exceptionally well in Tests (in England and Australia). Pant is work in progress and I would suggest he can benefit if he gets to work with More. There is no problem with Pant’s batting but he surely needs to work on his wicketkeeping. As a wicketkeeper he has to be good enough to command his place,” Prasad told Sportstar.

Read: Pant can be a massive player once he starts getting runs, says Rathour

Asked if it would help Pant, More responded, “Anytime. I will be too happy to work with Pant. I did work with him for two days (last year) but then I would need to spend more time with him. A 10-day stint one-on-one with Pant would be a good idea to start with. He has a fantastic cricket sense and there are a few technical things to be sorted out. He is young and needs some guidance. Putting pressure is not going to help at all. I must tell you he is mentally very strong.”

Domestic grind

As Prasad pointed out, “The desire to work on his wicketkeeping has to come from within. We are studying his work and are all ready to help him. Ideally, he needs to improve in certain areas. It is not fair to talk of Pant in the same breath as (Wriddhiman) Saha or MS (Dhoni). Please remember Pant did not play much of domestic cricket before he got into the Indian team like say Parthiv (Patel) or (Dinesh) Karthik. Had he undergone a good three-four seasons of hard grind in domestic cricket he would not have faced some of these issues. He got in when MS was on the other side of his career.”

Would Pant find a place purely as a batsman? “Possible. But then it would depend on what kind of combination the team wants. It would also mean that Pant would need to develop as a fielder in some specialist position. It is not easy. Look at KL (Rahul) finding it tough to get a place in the Test team. Pant is being guided. I keep talking to him. He has lost weight and is working hard on his keeping skills. We will back him.”

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