Rishabh Pant after half-century: There is no natural game

Updated: 17 December, 2019 07:46 IST | PTI | Chennai

India's wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant says one has to play according to the situation at international level and belief is crucial to deal with criticism

India's Rishabh Pant during his 71 off 69 balls in the first ODI v WI on Sunday. Pic/AFP
India's Rishabh Pant during his 71 off 69 balls in the first ODI v WI on Sunday. Pic/AFP

Chennai: Often accused of not putting enough premium on his wicket, rising Indian batsman Rishabh Pant says he has now understood that there is no concept of "natural game" in international cricket where one has to play according to the situation. Pant's reckless strokeplay at crucial junctures, leading to soft dismissals, as well as poor work behind the stumps have been the talking points and a matter of concern for the Indian team.

But the young wicketkeeper-batsman from Delhi finally came good and struck his maiden ODI half century, albeit in a losing cause, in the first one-dayer against West Indies here. Pant said he is constantly trying to improve his game. "I've realised after playing a fair bit at international level that unlike at amateur levels of cricket, there isn't anything like a natural game. At the international level, you have to play according to the situation or what the team demands," Pant said at the post-match press conference after India lost to West Indies by eight wickets.

Learning curve

"It's my learning curve. From the team's point of view, whatever I can do to help my team win, to have a good score on the scoreboard, that's what I was focussing on. In the end, I got some runs," he added. He said he will continue to focus on his game rather than think about the "talk going around" about him. "As an individual and as a player, I want to focus on my processes. All the talk going around, they're good and sometimes they're not. At the moment, I'm concentrating on my game and that will hold me in good stead," said Pant, who scored 71 off 69 balls for his maiden ODI half-century.

Asked what kept him going despite the constant criticism, Pant said it was all about believing in himself and following the process of growth. "I will always tell a person that you have to believe in yourself. It doesn't matter what people say around you. Sometimes you don't get runs, sometimes you get but the process is always important," he said.

'Every knock is important'

Asked how important this knock was in the current circumstances, he said every innings was important. "Every innings is important for me. As a youngster, I want to improve each and every day," Pant said. Pant has been greeted with chants of 'Dhoni, Dhoni' by crowds at various stadiums but not here. "Sometimes it's important when crowd supports you. I was trying to improve myself every day but I wasn't getting there. I am not saying I got there [with this innings], but I try to improve."

West Indies fined for slow over-rate

Chennai: West Indies players have been docked 80 per cent of their match fees for maintaining a slow over-rate in the first ODI against India. ICC match referee David Boon imposed the fine after Kieron Pollard's side was ruled to be four overs short of its target on Sunday after time allowances.

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First Published: 17 December, 2019 07:39 IST

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