IND vs WI: Rishabh Pant still has a long way to go as a keeper, says Syed Kirmani
One of India's all-time great wicketkeepers Syed Kirmani tells mid-day that Rishabh Pant has to work on his basic technique of wicketkeeping
Rishabh Pant's power-packed batting has certainly prompted several pundits to suggests that he is ready to take over the mantle from legendary MS Dhoni when the appropriate time arrives in limited overs cricket.
Batting-wise? Yes. But whether Pant is also the best glovesman that India have from the available pool could be tough to answer. Pant had a torrid time behind the stumps in his first Test on home soil. He leaked 21 byes [16 in first innings and five in the second innings] and dropped two catches against West Indies in the first Test here at the Saurashtra Cricket Association stadium which concluded on Saturday.
In the Windies second innings, Keemo Paul could have been back in the pavilion for 15 had a Ravindra Jadeja delivery not brushed past Pant's glove. The other edge was a bit wide as Kieran Powell, batting on 21, looked to defend a Kuldeep Yadav googly. He went on to score 83 after India enforced the follow-on.
Though Pant had a dream Test debut with seven scalps in Nottingham during the third Test against England, he conceded 40 byes [26 in the first innings and 14 in the second] in the fifth and final Test match that England won by 118 runs to make it 4-1. One of India's all-time great wicketkeepers, Syed Kirmani felt Pant has to work on his basics.
"A lot of things need to be ironed out. He is still in the cradle of wicketkeeping. He has to work on his basic technique. All of a sudden from the U-19 level, he is coming into the international level. He will take some time. It will come with experience," Kirmani told mid-day.
The ex-India stumper, a veteran of 88 Tests and 49 ODIs, observed a few flaws in Pant's wicketkeeping in the first Test v WI. "He was unable to judge the pace of the pitch, the distance between where to stand for the pace bowlers. He has effected some brilliant stumpings and taken some brilliant catches, but a lot of basics have to be sorted. Like, he is getting up before the ball pitches. A wicketkeeper has to be seated until the ball pitches and he should be aware of what sort of turn or swing will take place by watching the bowler's wrist.
"He has to get behind the stumps for every throw. When taking the throws, he should be behind the stumps and not in front. He is also a little slow in his movements. He has got be quick on his feet. The trend now is that teams prefer a batsman who can keep wicket. I am not sure whether that's how you should view it because wicketkeeping is a specialist's job," said Kirmani.
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