I feel once he gets going, he shouldn’t change the tempo, says former head coach
Rishabh Pant of Delhi Capitals in action during an IPL match against Royal Challengers Bangalore
Sourced by The Telegraph
Published 11.05.22, 01:55 AM
Former India head coach Ravi Shastri feels Rishabh Pant needs to bat in the “Andre Russell mode” in T20 cricket and not change the tempo once he gets going. That way, Shastri thinks, the Delhi Capitals captain can win more matches for his side.
“I feel once he (Rishabh) gets going, he shouldn’t change the tempo. He should be in the Russell mode in this format of the game,” Shastri said on EspnCricinfo.
“You get your eye in and then when you’re striking it well, don’t think too much. No matter who the bowler is, if it’s there to be smacked, smack it. Who knows, this way you might win more matches than people expect you to.”
Wicketkeeper-batsman Pant aggregates 281 runs in 11 matches at a strike rate of 152.71 so far in IPL 2022, but has struggled to convert his starts into meaningful contributions.
Besides, the 24-year-old also has had to deal with Delhi’s off-field issues with Covid-19 (which some of their players contracted) making the situation tougher for the side.
However, like Russell, if Pant has a clear mindset, he too is capable of being as destructive as the West Indies all-rounder, Shastri believes. “Russell is very, very clear in his mindset. It’s bang-bang-bang once he’s in the mood.
“There’s no stopping him. There’s not even a negative thought that will peep through his system. It is all about smacking.
“Rishabh is very much capable of playing in that fashion, and I hope he thinks in that way because you’ll see some special innings from him in T20 cricket.
“He’s getting off to starts, but then, he’s getting out in a manner which he wouldn’t like. Still, I don’t think he should change his tempo,” Shastri emphasised.
Former New Zealand captain and left-arm spinner Daniel Vettori feels Pant is at his best when he is reckless and pummelling the opposition attack.
“Rishabh is almost at his best when he’s reckless, and we’ve seen him play some exceptional innings when he just continues to take teams down time and again,” Vettori said.
Elaborating on the approach Pant should be going in with to bat, Vettori added: “It’s a team game, and you don’t expect an individual to go and win you the game all the time.
“But in that short period of time, if he does the damage, it can be good enough to bring that required rate from, say 12 an over to 10 an over.”
Bat at No.3
If Delhi are to enhance their prospects of making the last four, Shastri wants Pant to bat at No.3.
“I would like to see him bat at No.3 for Delhi, especially now when the heat is on and when they’ve got to win them all. Let him go and smack it,” Shastri stated.