Rishabh Pant
Rishabh Pant (IANS Photo)

World Cup winning wicketkeeeper Syed Kirmani wants Rishabh Pant to continue with his aggressive approach to batting, asking him to not change his game. However, he does advise that Pant needs to learn how to convert fifties into hundreds.

On Day 2 of the first Test between India and West Indies, Pant put on a show as he clattered eight fours and four sixes to score 92 off 84. He, though, was undone by his propensity to play big shots as a mishit resulted him being dismissed just eight short of what would have been a second straight century in Test – a first for an Indian wicketkeeeper.

“Pant’s gung-ho approach to batting is quite refreshing to watch,” Kirmani was quoted as saying by The New Indian Express on Saturday. “He should not change the way he plays the game. That may lead to trouble. What he should, however, look at is conversion. The classic example today was Virat Kohli at the other end. When he got set, he ensured he reached a century. You should not miss out after doing all the hard work.”

Kirmani, 68, though thinks that Pant has a lot of work to do on his wicketkeeping skills, advocating the need of a ‘keeping coach.

“Pant’s footwork behind the stumps is not good. He does not move with the ball, instead dives at the last moment. These will take time. My main point is, look at the young keepers in the country. How will they learn? You have specific coaches for each and every position except for such a specialist role,” Kirmani, who played 88 Tests between 1976 and 1986.

While his batting style his similar to that of MS Dhoni, Kirmani said that should Pant continue to plunder runs, he will be able to cement his place in the side. “He reminds me of MS Dhoni when I first heard of him. He was a terrific hitter of the ball but not that technically adept behind the stumps. He worked on his shortcomings and look where that took him. Pant has age on his side but first and foremost, he should look to keep getting runs. That is the only way to make yourself undroppable,” he said.