After the famous Test ton at Sydney back in 2018-19 season, India, perhaps, found an able successor for talisman MS Dhoni, in the form of Rishabh Pant.
After all, only a few wicket-keeper-batsmen can boast of scoring tons in both Australia and England in the toughest format of the game, in a brief career, thus far.
A couple of seasons down the line, things have changed drastically for the international career of Pant, who first went out of favour in the Test lineup, in front of seasoned wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha.
Then, a concussion during one of the ODIs against Australia forced him to give his gloves to KL Rahul and also his berth in the Indian limited-overs squad.
Skipper Virat Kohli can’t get enough of Rahul donning the gloves, providing him with an opportunity to play an extra batsman.
Ahead of the first Test match between India and New Zealand at Basin Reserve, Test specialist Ajinkya Rahane offered some valuable advice for Rishabh Pant who is currently warming the benches in the Indian squad.
“It’s important to accept whatever you are going through. Be positive, try and learn as many things as possible from any of the players. Not saying it has to be senior or junior,” Rahane told media personnel on the eve of the first Test at Wellington.
In spite of numerous opportunities, Pant holds a reputation of losing his wicket to attacking shots, thereby, squandering his chances for a massive score in white-ball cricket.
The Maharashtra batsman, himself, faced a similar situation during his limited-overs career. Until the World Cup in 2015, Rahane solidified his place at the number four slot.
“You should try and focus on what he can control as a player and keep visualizing that you will get an opportunity. You know what your role is. For Rishabh, he bats at No 6 or 7, so keep visualising about what if he gets an opportunity and what his role is. Keep it simple,” added the 31-year-old.
After being out of favour for a while, Kohli and co. offered Rahane the position of the third opener after Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma.
However, Rahul also took Rahane’s position in the Indian squad. And, from being in the fringes, Rahane went absolutely out of favour in limited-overs format for India.
“See no one likes to sit outside but whatever your team needs on a particular game, you have got to accept that. I think acceptance is really important talking about that particular individual. Focus on controllables, keep working hard and improve as a cricket player,” concluded the Indian no. 5 in Test cricket.