Australian legend Adam Gilchrist heaped praise on India’s wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant and called him a “true box office cricketer”.
The former Australian wicketkeeper-batsman credited Rishabh Pant’s approach for India’s historic win at Brisbane on Tuesday.
Being an attacking left-handed-wicketkeeper batsman, Rishabh Pant’s methods are often compared to Adam Gilchrist’s, arguably the greatest wicketkeeper-batsman of all time.
In his column for Mid-Day, Adam Gilchrist wrote:
“There is the flashy left-handed wicketkeeper-batsman—I have a weakness for that kind of player! What an irresistible player Rishabh Pant is. A true box office cricketer, who compels you to watch when he is at the crease. He played with audacity and assurance to keep the scoreboard ticking and ensured that an Indian win was always a possible result.”
Rishabh Pant’s unbeaten 89 from 138 balls architected the win at The Gabba, a venue where Australia had last lost a Test in 1988.
Battling a plethora of injuries, a second-string side ensured India complete back-to-back series victories in Australia.
Not only did they win the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, the win also enabled India to move to the pinnacle of the ICC World Test Championship Points Table.
Despite his batting prowess, Rishabh Pant has often been criticised for his wicketkeeping skills, especially against spinners. In the Sydney Test, Rishabh Pant had dropped debutant Will Pucovski twice and let go of several byes.
However, Adam Gilchrist called him an “asset” and has backed Rishabh Pant to improve his wicketkeeping skills to emerge as more “exceptional talent”.
“Pant cops a lot of criticism for his wicketkeeping. However, every selection is an assessment of a player’s strengths and weaknesses. The batting strength and power he brings to the side has a lot of value, and the Indians will know that he is a special asset to his team. His wicketkeeping will probably improve, and if that happens he will be an even more special exceptional talent,” Gilchrist further wrote.
Playing three out of the four Tests in the series, Rishabh Pant emerged as India’s highest run-getter with 274 runs. Into his third year of Test cricket, Pant averages over 43 from 16 Tests.
The numbers significantly improve against Australia, the side known to have arguably the best bowling attack in the world. He averages 62.4 from seven Tests in Australia with the lowest score of 23.