I am not here to compete with anyone: Rishabh Pant

India’s new batting sensation Rishabh Pant has had a terrific time in international cricket. Since his maiden Test ton at the Oval, he has announced that he is there to stay. The left-hander made a mark in all 3 formats and promises to be a player for the future.

Since his heroics in the Under-19 World Cup and then in the IPL, he earned a name for himself as a destructive batsman. Irrespective of the format, his approach doesn’t change. The 21-year-old only proved that when he struck the 2nd ball of his debut innings for a six off Adil Rashid.

In an interview with TOI, Rishabh remembered that six and talked about his preparations for the future. “That six changed nothing in my life. No person can ever be judged by one shot… it’s always the kind of knocks he has played.”

Red ball cricket was always important for Rishabh

Due to his belligerence in the IPL, Rishabh Pant was being looked at as an explosive batsman. Usually, such batsmen are deemed to be fit for limited overs cricket. But for the Delhi-lad, it was always important to perform in the longest format of the game.

“That I could play red-ball cricket was important too. My childhood coach Tarak Sinha always maintained that he would not consider me an international player unless I played Test cricket,” Pant said. Talking about his maiden Test hundred, he said, “To do it in England against such an attack was very important for me.”

A lot of wicketkeepers in India couldn’t secure a prominent place in the national side in the last decade due to the presence of a stalwart MS Dhoni. Rishabh Pant is fortunate that he got a chance to play for India so early in his career. MS doesn’t play Tests anymore and Wriddhiman Saha got injured which made way for Pant. Now that Dhoni is set to hang up his boots soon, he has a great chance to be India’s keeper in all 3 formats.

“If people tag me, it doesn’t mean I have to change. I improve in my own way and always focus on that. There were no spots in the team earlier. The moment there was a vacancy, I ensured I was performing. I am not here to compete with anyone. For me, this phase is all about learning. I keep going up to Mahi bhai and pick up things,” added Pant.

Massive Australia tour coming up

Team India will play soon in the testing conditions of Australia. Rishabh Pant will be under the scanner as well. The left-hander talked about how the coach Ravi Shastri and Rohit Sharma have helped him prepare for the crucial tour.

“Ravi sir (coach Shastri) is constantly in touch over the phone. He keeps talking to me about the conditions and how cricket is played in Australia. Rohit (Sharma) bhaiya has told me to give myself some time to settle and then play my game. Mentally, I am already there,” said Pant.

 

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