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Rathour backs Pant

Pant has got an immense ability, can be an X-factor: Vikram Rathour

By Our Correspondent in Chennai
  • Published 15.12.19, 2:18 AM
  • Updated 15.12.19, 2:18 AM
  • a min read
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Rishabh Pant gets the backing of India's Batting coach AP picture

Rishabh Pant has been the favourite punching bag of many in the recent times. The youngster hasn’t helped himself either with some lopsided performances.

But India’s batting coach Vikram Rathour made it clear on Saturday that the wicketkeeper-batsman hasn’t failed enough for the team management to lose faith in him.

At a media conference ahead of India’s opening ODI of a three-game series against the West Indies, Rathour was asked if it was time to look beyond Pant. Rathour replied: “The reason why we keep discussing him is that he has got an immense ability. Everybody believes he can be an X-factor. All of us believe he is a good player who can come good. He is working hard on his game and fitness.

“He has done well in the past in this format. Once he starts getting runs, he can be a massive player for the Indian team, he can be a match-winner," Rathour said.

“I don’t think the time (to drop Pant) has arrived yet. Again, he is working on certain things. He is looking good in the nets. He has been decent in the T20s. He was asked to do a certain job in the last T20I, which he did. That’s what the team looks for.”

Asked if opener KL Rahul can double up as a wicketkeeper, Rathour said: “That is something the team management will have to see, of course that is an option.”

West Indies captain Kieron Pollard had words of praise for all-rounder Roston Chase .

“I think he brings balance to the whole team. He’s first of all a Test batsman — he has Test hundreds — and that in itself is a great asset for us. Having a guy who bats in the middle order in Test cricket coming in is good for us.

“Given that, he can bowl as well, it gives an opportunity to play an extra bowler or an extra all-rounder or an extra batter. So, he has been very valuable for us.”