Ever since the debacle of Men in Blue at the World Cup, earlier this year, Rishabh Pant is under the scanner. He is facing non-stop criticism from the last couple of months. A lot has already been said and written about the wicket-keeper batsman.
From his poor shot selections to his goof-ups from behind the stumps, the cricketer is being looked down upon as the replacement of the former Indian skipper MS Dhoni. Trollers and cricket pundits are leaving no stone unturned to criticize his performance and selectors for picking him up in the squad. Even when he misses a chance, the audience starts shouting MS Dhoni’s name in the ground.
Ahead of the upcoming series against West Indies, that is all set to kickstart from 6th December 2019, Indian skipper Virat Kohli has thrown his weight behind struggling wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant. He has urged everyone to follow suit and give some space to Rishabh Pant. He said:
“We certainly believe in Rishabh’s ability. But I think it’s a collective responsibility of everyone around as well to give that player some space to do well. If he misses a chance, people can’t shout MS’ (Dhoni) name in the stadium as well. It’s not respectful because no player would like that to happen. You are playing in your own country and you should get support rather than always thinking about what mistake this guy is gonna make. No one wants to be in that position.”
“As Rohit (Sharma) pointed out this as well, he needs to be left alone. He is a match-winner and once he comes good we will see a different version of him which we have seen in the IPL where is he free, relaxed and he feels there is a lot more respect coming for his abilities and what he can achieve in the team. He needs to feel that more around him and he can’t be isolated to an extent that he gets nervous on the field. All of us need to make him feel like he belongs and we are all for him rather than against him.”
Earlier, Indian opener Rohit Sharma has also backed Rishabh Pant and urged everyone to give space to the young lad. He had said:
“You know there is a lot of talk happening about Rishabh Pant every day, every minute. I just feel that he needs to be allowed to do what he wants to do on the field. I would request everyone to keep their eyes away from Rishabh Pant for a while,”
“He is a fearless cricketer and we (team management) want him to have that freedom. And if you guys take your eyes off him for sometime, it will allow him to perform even better,”