Mohammad Kaif has expressed happiness at Rishabh Pant playing a mature knock and not throwing away his wicket on the fourth day of the Oval Test against England.
Pant scored 50 runs off 106 deliveries and hit just four boundaries during the course of his innings. The knock came on the back of a rather lean run on the tour of England so far.
During a discussion on Sony Sports, Mohammad Kaif was asked if he had spoken to Rishabh Pant considering that the IPL was round the corner. He responded:
“I had sent a message – trust your defense. But he did not send a reply, he replied with his bat. I was happy that he put a value on his wicket and tried to change himself, that he has to play defensively and leave the ball.”
The Delhi Capitals assistant coach added that this knock will hold Rishabh Pant in good stead for the future. Kaif said:
“The foot also came forward. There was no shortcoming seen in his defense. When he made up his mind, told himself that he can defend, he was playing with soft hands, this will make him a better player in the future.”
Rishabh Pant stitched together a century stand with Shardul Thakur after Team India were reduced to a score of 312/6 at the fall of Virat Kohli’s wicket.
“Rishabh Pant should write the names of Rohit Sharma, Pujara and Virat Kohli in his diary” – Mohammad Kaif
Mohammad Kaif wants Rishabh Pant to imbibe the qualities of Rohit Sharma, Cheteshwar Pujara and Virat Kohli. He elaborated:
“I don’t know if he maintains a diary, but he should write the names of Rohit Sharma, Pujara and Virat Kohli in it. They should be heroes for him, on how he should change his game by watching them.”
The former India cricketer signed off by stating that Rishabh Pant will have to mix caution with aggression to have a successful run at the international level. Kaif explained:
“You can’t make a big score by dancing down the wicket and playing the big shots. It might happen on an odd occasion but if you want to have a long career, play for 10-12 years, which should be his aim as well, he has to combine defense with a little bit of attack. Spending time at the crease is important.”
While Pant was circumspect for the majority of his innings, he did attempt a reverse sweep off James Anderson’s bowling and was struck on the pads. The wicketkeeper-batsman was lucky that the umpire did not rule him out as the ball was seen clipping the stumps.