Rishabh Pant may not be participating in the upcoming World Cup, yet the former Australian wicketkeeper, Adam Gilchrist, remains captivated by the influence the Indian star has exerted during his six-year tenure with the Indian squad.
Pant, who made his international debut in February 2017, swiftly established himself as a prominent figure in the team, particularly in Test cricket. His impressive strike rate of 73 in the longest format underscores the daunting challenge he presents to bowlers. Pant’s remarkable display against Australia further exemplifies his prowess, accumulating 274 runs across five innings, featuring a pivotal match-winning 89 at the Gabba. This contribution played a pivotal role in India clinching the Border-Gavaskar Trophy during the 2020-21 season.
“I think Rishabh has inspired a lot of wicket-keeper batters around the world to play that [aggressive] way. It is fascinating for such a young man to have such an impact that Rishabh has had, and others are responding and playing in that positive manner,” Gilchrist, who is in India on a promotional visit, told PTI.
Pant is on the sidelines after a harrowing car accident that occurred last December. He is diligently working on his recovery at the National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru and anticipates a return to action in the coming year.
During Pant’s absence, KL Rahul is expected to assume wicketkeeping duties for India in the World Cup. Although Ishan Kishan possesses wicketkeeping experience, it appears his primary role within the team will revolve around being a middle-order batsman. Gilchrist has expressed admiration for Kishan’s development, acknowledging his readiness to contribute despite, understanding that Rahul holds the primary position in the pecking order.
“They [India] are well stocked,” Gilchrist said. “They have got a couple of [wicketkeeping] options there, obviously, when KL was out with his injury, Ishan Kishan took his opportunity and played really well, and now they find themselves in the team together so that’s a wonderful case of taking an opportunity.
“Being positive, and then, forcing the selectors into keeping you in the team [is impressive]. It seems like KL is gonna be the one who is going to continue with the gloves but it does not seem to hinder Ishan Kishan’s batting, he seems to be playing really well, carefree, attacking and dangerous.”