Former Australian captain and Delhi Capitals head coach Ricky Ponting has suggested that India's young gloveman Rishabh Pant should improve his keeping, going forward. The Indian gloveman had a poor start to the third Test as he continued dropping catches like he had done at the MCG.
There have been many instances of keepers going from strength to strength after initial issues behind the stumps. But in Rishabh Pant's case, it has been quite the opposite as the more he has played, the more his keeping has got exposed. From a point where he was just not taking brilliant catches like you expect from a top gloveman in Tests and was far being great in saving byes, he has gone to dropping sitters, and that too regularly. That was the case in the second Test against Australia, and it happened on day one of the SCG Test as well.
Pant gave two lives to debutante Will Pucovski, first dropping a dolly on the bowling of R Ashwin and then a difficult but much expected grab for a keeper off the bowling of Siraj. It helped the opener make a brilliant 62 and delayed the arrival of Steven Smith to the middle.
Delhi Capitals coach Ricky Ponting, who has worked closely with Rishabh Pant in the IPL, went on to say that the youngster was lucky that Pucovski didn't make a big hundred after he dropped two easy grabs.
"The one's (dropped catches) today are two that should be taken, simple as that. It's probably lucky for Rishabh that Pucovski didn't go on and make a big hundred or a double hundred and looking at the wicket, it looks like an unbelievable surface," cricket.com.au quoted Ponting as saying, reported TOI.
"I'm sure when Rishabh put those catches down, he would have thought the worst and 'here we go, he's really going to make me pay' but (Pucovski) didn't today," he added.
The World Cup-winner suggested Pant make amends in his keeping as that has been an issue with him since the start of his career.
"I've said it all along, the knock-on Rishabh is always going to be on his keeping. Since his debut in Test cricket, he's dropped more catches than any other keeper in the world. That highlights he has got some work to do with his keeping," said Ponting.
Notably, it was Saha who had started the Test series for India in the Adelaide Test but after his failures with the bat, Pant was brought in for the MCG Test. And while he contributed with a good cameo, his keeping has been a major point of criticism in this tour thus far.