India tell Pant to balance daredevilry in batting with discipline - GulfToday

India tell Pant to balance daredevilry in batting with discipline


India’s newly appointed batting coach Vikram Rathour insists Rishabh Pant must improve his shot selection.

India’s newly appointed batting coach Vikram Rathour has joined head coach Ravi Shastri in demanding more discipline from exciting stumper-batsman Rishabh Pant.

Pant’s six-hitting ability makes him a limited-overs asset, but Shastri in a recent interview said the 21-year-old’s penchant for throwing away his wicket has occasionally let the team down.

The Delhi player is perceived as Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s natural successor in limited-overs cricket when the former captain eventually hangs up his gloves, but Rathour insisted Pant must improve his shot selection.

“Rishabh is a phenomenal player, no doubt about that,” Rathour told reporters in Mohali ahead of the second Twenty20 International against South Africa on Wednesday.

“Of course he needs to sort out his gameplan a little more. He needs to bring in a little bit of discipline to his cricket.”

With next year’s Twenty20 World Cup in mind, Rathour extended the message to all young members of the side that fearless cricket did not mean reckless cricket. The World Cup is to be held in Australia in October-November next year.

“What the team management is asking from them is fearless cricket -- having clear gameplans and playing with intent, backing your strengths. At the same time, you cannot be careless,” the former India opener said.

“I’m sure they are smart enough to understand that.”

Virat Kohli’s India have focussed on T20s since their failure at the 50-over World Cup this year where they lost to New Zealand in the semi-finals.

“In the past T20 was not taken seriously. Now since you are preparing for the World Cup all these games are going to be extremely important,” Rathour stressed.

“And I think the next 20-21 games we will be playing will be our preparation for the World Cup.”

India will also play three tests against South Africa next month, when limited-overs stalwart Rohit Sharma may reinvent himself as a test opener.

Rohit smashed a record five centuries at this year’s 50-overs World Cup, but the white-ball stalwart has managed only 27 sporadic test appearances.

Rathour said 32-year-old Rohit has the game to succeed across formats, which would be a massive boost for the side.

“He has done so well as an opener in white ball cricket, so I don’t see any reason why he can’t do well in red ball cricket as well, provided we provide him enough opportunities,” Rathour said.

“If he comes good, it will be a huge asset for the team. Somebody of his experience, the kind of cricket he plays -- if he plays at the top of the order, it will be a huge thing.”

Meanwhile, the Indian cricket board has launched investigations into suspected match fixers who approached a member of the women’s national team and players in a regional Twenty20 league, its anti-corruption head said on Tuesday.

A case has been registered against two suspects in Bengaluru after they approached a member of the Indian women’s team, Ajit Singh, the head of the Anti-Corruption Unit at the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), said.

“She was approached before a home series by people who expected her to be part of the India squad and wanted her to play according to their script,” Singh said without identifying the player.

“She asked them to call to another number, recorded the conversation and reported the approach to us,” Singh said.

In another incident, several players in this year’s Tamil Nadu Premier League (TNPL) were approached by suspected fixers.

“We are trying to find out what their purpose was. They tried to contact through social media. The moment these players realised something was wrong, they cut out the approaches and reported to us,” Singh said.

Singh said no player was being probed.

“I consider it a success of our education programme that in both cases, the players did the right thing by reporting the approaches.


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