Former Indian wicketkeeper-batsman Kiran More has made a bold prediction that Rishabh Pant can lead the Indian team in the future given the kind of mindset the youngster possesses. He added that MS Dhoni has shown the world that keepers can also turn into good captains, breaking all the stereotypes.
Rishabh Pant's stars have been on the rise right from the start of the year. After playing remarkable knocks with the bat in Australia, he proved his mettle with the gloves in home Tests against England. His impactful performances in turn helped him return to India's T20I and ODI sides respectively.
And even in the white-ball formats, Pant continued to impress with his maturity and aggression as he played a big role in the series decider against the Three Lions in the ODI leg of the tour. In fact, after Shreyas Iyer was ruled out of the IPL, Pant went on to lead Delhi Capitals with the franchise doing well before the tournament was postponed, owing to COVID-19. Now, former Indian chief selector Kiran More has predicted that Rishabh Pant can lead India in future given the kind of mindset and discipline he has.
“Rishabh Pant has the potential to take the Indian team forward. He can lead the side in future. The kind of mindset he has, he can definitely become the captain of India. He has a sharp mind, he can achieve a lot of things. But it is also up to the individual, how disciplined you are, how do you see the future,” More told India TV, reported HT.
However, things didn't come easy for Pant. In white-ball cricket, his inconsistent displays with the bat, poor keeping at times, and the fact that he was replacing MS Dhoni, made things tough for him. The Indian team management and selectors had even lost faith in him as Pant was even dropped from the limited-overs side last year. If not for India's horror show in the Adelaide Test, he might have not even played the MCG Test given Wriddhiman Saha was India's first-choice keeper. More further added that Pant has had his share of struggles but, despite that, he has proved himself.
“If you see Rishabh Pant’s graph it has been full of ups and downs. The bad phase has made him mentally strong. He was not picked for the World Cup at first, was dropped from T20Is and ODIs as well. But the way he made a comeback through Test cricket is what makes you a real cricketer. Making a comeback after you get dropped is always the hardest but Pant has shown that he belongs at that level. He will take Indian cricket forward,” More said.
The former Indian gloveman also asserted that Pant is a rare talent and needs to be nurtured well.
“Rishabh has come into the Indian team at a very young age. He is still very young. So you have to give time to a player (to mature). Yes, he will make mistakes here and there, that is natural. When Mahi came, he was a lot matured. He was not as young as Pant when he came into the Indian team. Pant, on the other hand, has come up through the U19 ranks and is a rare talent. He needs to be nurtured well,” he said.
More also talked about MS Dhoni and the fact that he changed the perception around keepers captaining the side.
“Earlier, people used to say that a wicket cannot be a captain as it is very difficult to concentrate, keep an eye on the field placements, bowling changes, it can play on your mind and you can miss chances behind the stumps but MS Dhoni changed it all around. But I know I think, especially in shorter formats a wicket-keeper can be a very good captain."