Rishabh Pant has been under the microscope following his below-par performances with the bat in recent times. The Indian wicketkeeper-batsman, who had two Test hundreds playing away from home, has not found consistency in the limited-overs cricket for India. Also Read - Virat Kohli And Ravi Shastri Want Wriddhiman Saha Not Rishabh Pant For South Africa Tests: Report
While Pant has found backing from the likes of Sunil Gavaskar and Yuvraj Singh amongst others, India head coach Ravi Shastri, ahead of the three-match T20I series against South Africa, had said that there will be a rap on the knuckles if Pant plays a bad shot. Also Read - Rishabh Pant Should Drop Down From No.4 Position: VVS Laxman Gives Advice to Virat Kohli and Co. to Revive Young Wicketkeeper's Limited-Overs Career
However, ahead of the three-match Test series against South Africa, Shastri stated that the team has “a lot of patience” for a “world class” cricketer like him. Also Read - Team India Cricket Fans Troll BCCI For Mentioning Rahul Dravid-Ravi Shastri in Same Breath in Latest Tweet Ahead of 3rd T20I Against South Africa in Bengaluru | POSTS
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“Pant is different, he is world class and is a brutal match-winner. Very few around in the world game; I can’t pick five on my hands when it comes to white-ball cricket, T20 cricket. So the patience we will have with him is a lot,” Shastri was quoted as saying by Hindustan Times.
“All your media reports and all the experts writing (but) Pant is in great space with this Indian team. Experts, they have a job, they can speak. Pant is a special kid and he has already done enough. And he is only going to learn. This team management will back him to the hilt,” added Shastri.
There had been reports of the team management criticising the left-hander, putting more pressure on him. The Indian team head coach cleared the air about the same.
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“Don’t say team management, I spoke about ‘the rap on the knuckles’. If someone goofs up, I have to pull them up. Am i there only to play tabla?,” said Shastri.
“But this guy is world class, this guy can be destructive, can be a destroyer. And we will give him all the support that he needs to prosper in international cricket,” he concluded.