Shastri: Time for Pant to show how devastating he can be

India head coach Ravi Shastri has made it clear that Rishabh Pant will be “rapped on the knuckles” if he keeps on playing rash shots.

Ravi Shastri feels Rishabh Pant will be unstoppable if he develops match awareness.   -  AP Photo

India head coach Ravi Shastri has made it clear that Rishabh Pant will be “rapped on the knuckles” if he keeps on playing rash shots like the one he did against the West Indies recently.

Shastri did not mince words as he pointed out that the young wicketkeeper-batsman has let the team down during India’s recent tour of the West Indies where he was dismissed first ball in an ODI game.

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“We’ll let him be but at times when you see a shot, like the first ball dismissal in Trinidad, if he repeats that, then he will be told. There will be a rap on the knuckles, talent or no talent,” the head coach said.

“As simple as that. Because you are letting the team down, forget letting yourselves down. In a situation where you have the captain at the other end, a target to chase, the need of the hour is sensible cricket,” Shastri was quoted as saying in an interview with Star Sports.

'Unquestionable talent'

Shastri said Pant has unquestionable talent but if he can sort out his shot-selection and decision-making, he will be unstoppable.

“No one will even think of changing his style. Like Virat said, reading the situation, match-awareness and shot-selection becomes crucial. If he can fathom that, he could be unstoppable.

“It could take one game, it could take four games. He has played so much IPL cricket, he will learn. It’s time now for him to step up and show how devastating he can be,” Shastri said with captain Virat Kohli by his side.

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Kohli, on his part, said he wants Pant to play according to situations.

“The only expectation from Rishabh is that he needs to read situations well,” Kohli said.

“We don’t expect him to play the way you might be thinking. It is about analysing a situation and dealing with it in your own way.”

The captain said he expects a swashbuckling player like Pant to keep it simple.

“Someone like Rishabh will hit five boundaries in a difficult situation compared to me, who likes to take singles or twos and get out of it.

“Everyone has their own game but reading the situation and decision-making is an expectation from everyone in the team, not just Rishabh,” Kohli said.