Indian opener and teammate Shikhar Dhawan came out in support of wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant and asked him to turn a deaf ear to critics. The young swashbuckling talent has been under the line of fire for throwing away countless opportunities and for not being able to execute the techniques properly. Rishabh Pant was named as the team's first-choice wicketkeeper after the World Cup by the selectors and hasn't registered a top-notch performance yet.
Speaking to a news agency, Shikhar Dhawan threw his weight behind young Pant and said that he should refrain from reading or listening to what was being written or broadcasted about him. Shikhar Dhawan suggested that Pant should stop paying attention to the critics as it would be registered in his mind and that is the reason why he himself had stopped reading or seeing news about him. Recollecting his own days when he began playing, Shikhar Dhawan said that he had learnt that it was a journey and that he had also seen the same critics during the beginning of his career. Shikhar Dhawan backed Rishabh Pant and said that he believed that the young lad could do wonders for the team.
Former India wicket-keeper Nayan Mongia feels "talented" Rishabh Pant needs to pull up his socks and improve upon his keeping skills to avoid "minor hiccups" in match situations. Right from the beginning of his career, Pant has been facing flack for his keeping skills and Mongia, who played 44 Tests and 140 ODIs for India, said it's time the young stumper needs to focus on his basics to cement his place in the national team. "Still there is a long way to go. He (Pant) is very talented. Keep practicing, keep playing all the matches and whatever opportunities that you get. (Wicket) keeping is one thing where you need to keep playing matches and you can't do much in practice, there are hardly balls coming when you are keeping in nets," Mongia said.
"When you are keeping in the nets, keep as if you are playing in the match, this minor hiccups will come but he needs to make sure that he improves and works on it. "And lesser the mistakes a keeper makes, the better he becomes. He gives more confidence to the bowler and that is what he has to do," added the Baroda-based former cricketer