Former Indian selector Jatin Paranjpe had high praise for Rishabh Pant but he also suggested the youngster to build more security in his defense and not step down to hit sixes. He also added that Ajinkya Rahane's MCG ton rattled the Aussies and was a special knock as it came after the Adelaide game.
Rishabh Pant has been the talk of the town ever since he ended up as India's leading run-scorer in the recently-concluded Border Gavaskar Trophy which India won 2-1. He played a brand of cricket that's unseen especially for middle-order batsmen in Indian cricket. His 97 in Sydney and 89* at Gabba had a great impact on the outcome of the series as the youngster drew praise from all quarters.
Former Indian selector Jatin Paranjpe praised Pant and compared him to Roy Fredericks, however, he also opined that the youngster needs to build up a solid defence and not step out to hit sixes.
“He reminds me of Roy Fredericks. He’s got fast hands. He plays the ball off the pitch which is a hallmark of special talent. He has lots of time, never seen him perturbed by pace. He needs to build security in his defence and learn to step out not to hit it for six but to drive it for ones and twos’. If he adds this facet, game over for all the bowlers,” Paranjpe told TOI.
Sanju Samson is another promising player that India have started giving more chances in T20Is as was witnessed during the three-match series in Australia. Paranjpe quipped that Samson is a great talent while hailing Wriddhiman Saha as the best gloveman in India.
“Sanju too is a treat to watch. Steady head, good technical foundations, doesn’t hold the bat low down and has a long lever which is rare to see nowadays. He will need to understand that he needs to play X amount of balls to score Y number of runs. He needs to work back to front from this angle. Both will do exceedingly well for India. Mark my words – they will drive fans crazy. Talent needs patience and trust,” he says.
However, he maintained that purely on a wicket-keeping basis, “Saha undoubtedly has the best hands”.
India's stand-in skipper Ajinkya Rahane had a major role to play in India's recent triumph over Australia. After a poor first Test, where he didn't score much and had also got Virat Kohli run-out, which titled the game in favour of the Aussies, he bounced back strongly at the MCG. His ton set the tone for India's comeback in the hard-fought series. Former Indian cricketer also felt Rahane's MCG ton rattled the Aussies and it was a special ton coming after the Adelaide debacle.
“Tough players steer their teams through tough situations. You could feel he wants to see his team through," says Paranjpe.
"It was a psychological battle and not an ordinary innings. He rattled the Aussies, and that coming after the Adelaide jolt made it even more special.”