Former India wicketkeeper-Batsman Saba Karim feels Delhi Capitals (DC) captain Rishabh Pant is still an “unfinished product” in the shortest format, with some work to be done on his shot selection and situational awareness.
Karim, who is also the head of talent search at DC, recalled a conversation with Rishabh Pant during the first leg of IPL 2021 where he told him to play freely and enjoy his time in the tournament. He said Pant now needs to learn from his national teammates like Suryakumar Yadav, Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli to be a “complete player”.
Speaking on the YouTube channel Khelneeti, Karim said,”That shouldn’t happen (whether his strike rate will be low in the UAE). I am not a part of the coaching staff so I expect Rishabh Pant to perform well not only as a wicketkeeper but also as a batsman. From what I saw in the first half, I liked his attitude a lot. He enjoys the game whether it’s batting or keeping. When we talked, Itold him, ‘The way you play with India and enjoy the game, you’ll have to do the same in the IPL’. I feel Rishabh Pant is still an unfinished product in T20s. He’ll have to work harder on his shot selection and playing according to the situation, only then he’ll be a complete player. Suryakumar Yadav, Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli are cases in point.”
In spite of the fact that Rishabh Pant impressively led DC to a top-of-the-table finish in the first half of the season, his batting performances have come under criticism. He batted in eight games, scoring 213 runs at a strike rate of 131.48. The numbers were an improvement from last year but the mediocre strike rate (by his standards) gave the feeling that he wasn’t in his best touch.
Pant is enjoying the responsibility of Captaincy
Speaking on Pant’s added responsibility of leading the team, Karim opined that, “He’s still young. I feel he’s enjoying the added responsibility of captaincy. He’ll reap its benefits with his batting as well in the future. Rishabh Pant is such a player, and is so talented, that he can finish matches. And that’s the role Delhi Capitals have entursted on him. He’s expected to not only finish matches but also plays an important role while setting the target while batting first.“
DC will play their first match of the second leg of IPL 2021 against Kane Williamson’s ( or David Warner’s) Sunrisers Hyderabad on September 22 in Dubai.