Rishabh Pant has got explosive ability because of gymnastic skills, believes Shankar Basu

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Shankar Basu credited gymnastics as the secret behind Rishabh Pant's dynamism on the field

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Rishabh Pant has got explosive ability because of gymnastic skills, believes Shankar Basu

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SportsCafe Desk

08/01/2022

Shankar Basu has stated that gymnastics must have played a massive role in shaping up the physical phenomenon that is Rishabh Pant, given he draws his explosiveness from his athleticism. The former coach urged aspiring cricketers to practice gymnastics as it can contribute to cricket significantly.

Rishabh Pant has established himself well as a superstar of the game and the future of Indian cricket with a bunch of match-winning performances in adverse conditions. While his contribution in the form of numbers is brilliant, what truly makes him unique is his dynamic style on the field, both when he is taking guard on the crease or keeping the wickets behind it.

The youngster often relies on unorthodox shots to fetch him runs, be it balancing slogs on one foot or twisting his body to navigate the ball behind the wickets. The 24-year-old has grown immensely as a wicket-keeper as well, making use of his incredible athletic body to pull off some stunning catches as was on display recently in the first ODI against England when his diving efforts made the highlight reels.

Former Indian strength and conditioning coach Shankar Basu reckons Pant's authenticity stems from practising gymnastics at a young age. Basu had during his reign labelled the batsman as one of the physically strongest players in the Indian dressing room and has now recalled a conversation with him regarding his dynamism. 

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"I remember seeing Rishabh in Sri Lanka. He came to the Nidahas Trophy and before in the West Indies. In the Nidahas Trophy, I remember telling him that you know you're an extraordinary gymnast. Please call your gymnastics coach and thank him for what you are doing now. He was like 'What?'. He was flummoxed. He can do a kip-up, front flip, backflip. You must have seen it in television. And he has got that explosive ability because of that," Basu told YouTuber Ranveer Allahbadia on his YouTube channel BeerBiceps.

The Indian cricket team has reaped the benefits of fitness and having an extra physical edge over the opponents ever since the reign of Virat Kohli as the captain started, producing some exceptional athletes. Basu believes gymnasts can play a huge role in spearheading this development, as he has experienced through the son of former cricketer and coach Sridharan Sriram, a veteran of eight ODI caps.

"I think he has done a lot of gymnastics in his formative years. Same thing with Sridharan Sriram's son. He wanted to start training. I said 'Sriram, put him in gymnastics', and apparently, he is playing very well now. Gymnastics play a major role in the development as an athlete. Not all of them will get the opportunity to do that, but if you are able to from a very young age, nothing like it," he revealed.

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