Ian Smith gives Rishabh Pant's future a big tick

Updated: Feb 27, 2020, 07:44 IST | Vimal Kumar | Christchurch

Despite a promising start in the first innings at Wellington, the Delhi wicketkeeper sacrificed his wicket (was run out on 19) for senior Ajinkya Rahane after a miscommunication.

Rishabh Pant and Ian Smith
Rishabh Pant and Ian Smith

Former New Zealand wicketkeeper-batsman Ian Smith is highly impressed with Rishabh Pant. "We are going to see a lot of Pant. It's not about just playing the game but living it. Maybe, he has to learn a few things and they [team management] are teaching him the virtues of patience," said Ian Smith, who has been a popular television commentator for several years now.

Despite a promising start in the first innings at Wellington, the Delhi wicketkeeper sacrificed his wicket (was run out on 19) for senior Ajinkya Rahane after a miscommunication. In the second innings, Pant's cameo (25 off 44 balls, 4x4) saved India the ignominy of an innings defeat. "The name of Rishabh Pant will be bigger in Indian cricket. Mark my words," said Smith.

The stocky former stumper who played in the 1980s and 1990s figured in 63 Tests, 98 ODIs and has 260 international dismissals to his name.

However, despite his admiration for Pant, the 1983, 1987 and 1992 World Cupper misses the presence of MS Dhoni in the touring party. "How can you not miss MS Dhoni on a cricket field? He has been a great leader and a great finisher. He almost won you the World Cup [2019] semi-final. I admire him and love talking about him, but time moves on and at some stage you have to accept that new generation will get a chance," said Smith who will celebrate his 63rd birthday on the eve of Saturday's Christchurch Test.

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