Rishabh Pant, who led India to level the five-match T20I series against South Africa 2-2 from 0-2 down, got the backing of Zaheer Khan. The former India fast bowler has asserted that Pant trusts his instincts and always tries to think out of the box, although he has added there should be a balance.
Many had criticized Rishabh Pant for his on-field decisions for Delhi Capitals during the IPL 2022. But yet, the 24-year-old was named India's captain just ahead of the ongoing five-match series versus South Africa. The decision came after KL Rahul, who was supposed to lead the country in the absence of Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma, was ruled out due to a groin injury.
Pant's captaincy in national colours did not start well at all. Under him, India suffered back-to-back defeats in the opening two matches against South Africa. But then they roared back, levelling the series 2-2, with the recent victory coming on Friday in Rajkot by a massive margin of 82 runs. However, Pant's struggles with the bat during the series, especially for his instinct of going for false shots, have been in scrutiny.
Speaking with Cricbuzz, Zaheer Khan still backed Pant for his 'out of the box' mindset. The former Indian fast bowler explained why Pant has always been the talk of the town, irrespective of his performance. Zaheer also believes Pant will learn how to get the balance right with time.
"When he scores runs, people talk about him. When he doesn't, people still talk about him. There’s a similar style of pattern in his captaincy. We have to give him time. He likes to think out of the box. He tries to follow his instincts far too much. He likes to take a lot of chances. He has to find that balance when he makes extreme decisions. It’s just like his batting," Zaheer told Cricbuzz.
"One thing that stands out about him is that he is very serious about his cricket. That no one can question. He is very passionate about the game. He wants to do things at a rapid pace. With time, he will get what he wants because he knows where he is headed."
Pant will be keen to lead India to win the five-match series when they go up against South Africa again on June 19 in Bengaluru.