'Am I there only to play tabla?' Ravi Shastri backs Rishabh Pant despite poor form
Mumbai: Rishabh Pant's future is in jeopardy due to his due to poor selection of shots and inconsistent performances. For the upcoming South Africa Test series, the 21-year-old may lose his spot to Wriddhiman Saha in the playing XI. However, head coach Ravi Shastri has backed the youngster to live up to his potential.
Shastri had also said there would be a "rap on the knuckles" while addressing the concerns around Rishabh Pant's poor run of form in international cricket.
The wicket-keeper batsman has failed to cement his spot in the side due to the string of low scores in the West Indies tour. While defending his take on Rishabh Pant's struggles, Ravi Shastri said the team management will back the young wicketkeeper-batsman to the hilt.
"Don't say team management, I spoke about 'the rap on the knuckles'. If someone goofs up, I have to pull them up. Am I there only to play tabla? But this guy is world class, this guy can be destructive, can be a destroyer. And we will give him all the support that he needs to prosper in international cricket," Ravi Shastri told Hindustan Times.
"Pant is different, he is world class and is a brutal match-winner. Very few around in the world game; I can't pick five on my hands when it comes to white-ball cricket, T20 cricket. So the patience we will have with him is a lot."
"All your media reports and all the experts writing (but) Pant is in great space with this Indian team. Experts, they have a job, they can speak. Pant is a special kid and he has already done enough. And he is only going to learn. This team management will back him to the hilt."