Ahmedabad: The young left-hander, Rishabh Pant’s batting style has the Indian team management’s mandate as long as he gets the “job done” and people should spare nitpicking him when there is an odd failure, feels senior batsman Rohit Sharma.
Rishabh and Washington Sundar though have put India in the driver’s seat against England on Friday in the last session of the fourth Test at Moter but until matter reached there, it was a trying day out for the Indian batsmen on a tricky wicket.
“There was moisture. There was seam. We had to stick around, bat out time,” said Rohit during post-match press conference. “That’s what I was discussing with Cheteshwar when he came out to bat. But he left early. I discussed the same with Virat but wickets kept falling. Ajinkya was trying to play his shots, keep it brisk. But as I said, we lost wickets.”
Rohit could empathise a lot with Pant as he too has seen the flip side of being rated as a talent which comes with its own share of ruthless scrutiny. All in praise for Pant’s knock, Rohit said, “He has his own style of batting. It was one of his finest knocks. It came under pressure as well. We saw a few sides to his batting today. Cautious at the beginning and then flourishing and batting the way we’ve known him to bat.”
Talking about Pant’s batting style, Rohit said, “Over time, the team management has spoken to him about how he needs to be approaching his innings. But he has his own style, which is absolutely fine from our perspective as well, because he seems to be getting the job done. You saw today as well. In the first half of the innings, he was quite respectful, was trusting his defence and then once we got to 200, he just wanted to take on the bowlers, which is fine.”
“You need those kind of players in your team who are not afraid to take on the bowlers. You need a mix of players in your squad. There are some who play respectfully and then you need to have some who are courageous and aren’t afraid of taking their chances. The way cricket is played now is completely different from what it was back in the day. You need to take those chances, you need to be courageous and Pant seems to be that player,” he added.
The opener further said of 23-year-old Pant, that till the time he gets the job done, the team is happy. “There are times when he will play shots or he will get out but I don’t want anyone to criticize him for that. He is that kind of a player who can make a team look different within a span of an hour.”
Rohit also feels that Pant can play freely with the backing of the team management and has been given the freedom as well. “And that’s really important, from my perspective. He has the backing of the captain and the coach and that’s extremely helpful for a player. He’s a kind of a guy who will play shots, get out but at the end of the day, we need such guys.”