Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) president Sourav Ganguly has branded Rishabh Pant an “unbelievable talent” and asserted that the 23-year-old should be allowed to play his natural game. Team India announced their playing XI for the World Test Championship final against New Zealand on Thursday, and as expected, Pant is set to feature for the Asian giants.
Rishabh Pant has established himself as a vital cog in the Indian team across all three formats since his heroics in the 2020-21 Border-Gavaskar Trophy against Australia.
In an interview with Bengali daily Anandabazar Patrika, Sourav Ganguly was asked whether Pant should continue playing his free-flowing game. The former Indian skipper replied:
“Pant is an unbelievable talent. He’s one of those players who can single-handedly change the course of a game. Pant is that kind of a game changer. He should be allowed to play his natural game. It is better to let such players play like themselves.”Advertisement
The southpaw’s form with the bat has been one of the major reasons behind India reaching the WTC final. The wicketkeeper-batsman has amassed 662 runs in 11 Tests at an average of 41.37 in the WTC cycle.
“I firmly believe this Indian team will be successful in England” – Sourav Ganguly
Following the one-off Test against New Zealand, Team India will play a grueling five-Test series against England.
India lost the five-Test series by a 4-1 margin the last time they toured England. However, former Indian skipper Sourav Ganguly is confident Virat Kohli will lead the team successfully in England this time around. He said:
“In England the ball swings more and that’s why there have been some issues. You have to play a bit late. But let’s just forget what has happened in the past. This Indian team have performed brilliantly everywhere. Everyone is a top cricketer. I firmly believe this team will be successful in England”
India have lost their last two Tests against New Zealand in 2020, which was their only series defeat in the WTC cycle. Since then, Team India have been in terrific form, beating Australia away from home against all odds before scripting a comfortable home series win over England.