India vs South Africa: Ravi Shastri Vows to Back Rishabh Pant ‘To the Hilt’
There is no doubt about the talent wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant possesses, but his inconsistency and poor shot selection has raised a few eyebrows in recent times. In fact there are speculations that Wriddhiman Saha could be preferred over the 21-year-old in the Test series against South Africa.
However head coach Ravi Shastri thinks otherwise and said that the team management will back the “world-class player”.
"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," Shastri told Hindustan Times.
Shastri also made it clear that it was his responsibility to “pull them up” if “someone goofs up”.
“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," he added.
Just before the start of the Test series, India lost its premier fast bowler, Jasprit Bumrah, to an injury. But for the coach it’s part of the game.
“Yes. He is world class as everyone knows. It is about player management, there are three formats that are being played; he is one guy who can play all three, so leading up to the next cycle you got to see where his value is at its maximum and what you got to do, and try and protect the player, you got to do that.
“That’s part and parcel of the game. It’s not that every time India play they will have their best team on the park because there are bound to be injuries and other factors. And you have seen what India is when it has the best team on the park.”