Indian wicketkeeper-batter Rishabh Pant is known for playing unorthodox shots. The Delhi-based player has often been criticised for his shot selection during crucial phases of the game. However, the 24-year-old batter is still adamant about his ‘my way or the highway’ approach.
Former Indian head coach Ravi Shastri has revealed his conversation with the flamboyant batter that led him to play the outrageous ‘Reverse sweep’ against James Anderson last year during a Test in India. Shastri said that it’s important for a coach to understand different players and their approaches to batting and back them.
“Last year, I was talking to Pant and I told him I am getting bored seeing you throwing it away in the same fashion every time, aren’t you bored as well? So why don’t you try something different, something more outrageous… like a reverse sweep maybe? And I saw his eyes light up. It’s very important to back a player’s ability,” said Shastri while commentating on Sky Sports.
“He reverse swept Jack Leach a couple of times. In the next Test, he did that against Anderson. Took a step ahead by reverse sweeping Jofra Archer, one of their fastest bowlers in the limited-overs series,” Shastri said while praising Pant for the style of shot.
Shastri further lauded Pant for his measured approach early on in his swashbuckling innings on Day 1 of the fifth Test at Edgbaston and also praised him for putting the pressure back on the bowling straight away. Pant left the fans awestruck with his strokeplay as he scored 146 off just 111 balls. He put on a partnership of 222 along with Ravindra Jadeja and took India to safety after they were reeling at 98 for 5.
“He doesn’t waste time – what I liked today was the way he managed his innings. He wasn’t prepared to take those high-risk shots early on. Even when he came down the track to Anderson it was measured. He knew exactly what he was doing and he’s that kind of player. He puts the pressure back on the opposition straight away,” Shastri added.