With some scintillating performances in the last three Test matches, Rishabh Pant has grabbed the limelight. The southpaw has proved that the team management was right in backing him in his early days. But there is still work to be done when it comes to batting long hours. While Pant has been able to rescue the side from dire situations, he has failed to convert his starts into triple-figure scores.
Former India opener Sunil Gavaskar has a piece of advice for him. Gavaskar feels that he should continue to play his natural attacking game. But adds that shot selection plays an important role when it comes to power hitting. Gavaskar feels that Pant should try to hit the spinners in front of the wicket instead of taking on the longer boundaries with a cross bat.
“I think he has got to play the way he reads the game. Shot selection is always the key. You have a good shot selection, you will play longer innings, you will play impact innings and that’s all Pant needs to do. He is a young chap and you should allow him the fact that sometimes he might get just a little bit carried away,” said Gavaskar while speaking on Star Sports.
“The only thing I will say to him is that when he is attacking an off-spinner on a pitch there is a little bit of purchase, he should try and hit him straight and not try and hit him over extra cover because with that the bat face is opening up and therefore he is slicing the ball and not quite middling it,” observed Gavaskar.
‘That’s the only thing Rishabh Pant has got to watch out for,’ asserts Sunil Gavaskar
The Indian legend points out that Pant has been getting out to the spinners while playing across the line. Gavaskar feels that it is the only thing the Delhi lad’s batting lacks. And hence he urges him to play with a straighter bat and minimize the risk factor.
“If he is trying to hit him over long-off he will be able to middle it, but when he is trying to hit over extra cover the bat face naturally opens up, he is reaching out and therefore he is hitting the ball up in the air. He got out that way to Nathan Lyon and missed out on a hundred. He missed out on a hundred or maybe even more over here. So that’s the only thing he has got to watch out for. Otherwise, he should play the way he knows,” concluded Gavaskar.
This advice will come in handy when Pant comes in to bat in the ongoing second Test at the Chepauk. The pitch seems to be a rank turner and if Pant decides to go after the spinners, it won’t be that easy to execute his shots. After some early hiccups, India are slowly building up for a big first-innings total with Rohit Sharma and Ajinkya Rahane out in the middle.