Former New Zealand cricketer-turned-commentator Ian Smith heaped praises over Indian cricketer Rishabh Pant and asserted that the latter will become a big name in the future. Pant, who is touted as an eventual replacement for former skipper MS Dhoni has struggled to deliver on the early promise. The 22-year-old was even promoted as India’s first-choice wicketkeeper, however, things have only gone downhill for the Delhi lad.
However, former New Zealand skipper exuded confidence in the Delhi-based cricketer while saying that Pant will become a big name in the future. Speaking to a news daily, the 63-year old commentator said that Pant is still in a learning phase and will become better with time.
He asserted that the keeper-batsman is going to make it big in the gentlemen's game and said that Pant has to learn a few things and added that the team management is teaching him the virtues of patience.
So far, Pant has scored just 374 runs in ODIs, at an average of 26.7 and his career average stands at 20.5 in the shortest format of the game.
Rahane, who was dropped from the Test-playing XI during the 2018 tour of South Africa, wants Pant to visualize that an opportunity could come his way anytime. "You should try and focus on what he can control as a player and keep visualizing that you will get an opportunity. You know what your role is. For Rishabh, he bats at No 6 or 7, so keep visualizing about what if he gets an opportunity and what his role is. Keep it simple," said Rahane.
The 22-year-old Pant, who till five months ago was India's first-choice wicketkeeper-batsman across formats, has lost his spot in limited-overs cricket to KL Rahul and red ball place to a much accomplished Wriddhiman Saha.