rishabh pant batting
Rishabh Pant scored 24 on debut (Getty Images)

It took Rishabh Pant just two deliveries to announce himself on the big stage. Making his Test debut on Saturday, the 20-year-old wicketkeeper-batsman nonchalantly struck a six off the second delivery of his career – his first scoring shot.

He would score 24 off 51 before being bowled and getting an earful from England’s Stuart Broad on his way back to the dressing room. He struck two fours and a six during his stint. Going by what he has done in Ranji Trophy, this was but a mere glimpse of his reputation.

Pant plays for Delhi in Ranji Trophy and KP Bhaskar, who has coached the team for the past two seasons, knows the big-hitting left-hander’s has to adapt his game for the red-ball cricket but feels he shouldn’t be discouraged from playing his natural attacking game.

“He is the kind of character who has complete belief in what he is doing. If the first ball is there to be hit, he will hit it,” Bhaskar was quoted as saying by the Times of India on Monday. “Pant will have to adapt to Tests. However, he has never curbed his natural instincts in Delhi. He has got to be natural. That’s they only way he knows. I’m sure he will succeed.”

Bhaskar is currently coaching India Green in the ongoing Duleep Trophy. He reckons that Pant, who averages 54.50 in first-class cricket, is the answer to India’s search for a wicketkeeper-batsman provided he gets enough opportunities. “It’s a question of getting the confidence. It depends on whether you are able to take the initial pressure that comes with making your debut. He has got talent and age on his side. India are looking for a wicketkeeper who can bat. I’m sure that he will cement his place provided he is given enough opportunities,” Bhaskar said.

Bhaskar has himself not tried altering Pant’s game saying he will learn with experience. “There’s not lot of coaching to be done with him. He has all the shots in his repertoire. I have just advised that he needs to be more consistent with his shot selection.”

“Even when he goes in at 60/5, I have never told him to take his time and see out a particular spell or session. There is no point in telling that to a stroke player. It doesn’t work out. With more experience and exposure at the highest level, he will learn all that,” he said.