Team India batting coach Vikram Rathour heaped huge praise on flamboyant wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant and called him a match-winner. Pant impressed everyone with his batting during the Australia tour as he played a monumental role in the historic series win Down Under.

Pant scored an unbeaten 89 runs in the second innings of the fourth and final Test at the Gabba, Brisbane as Australia suffered their first-ever defeat in that venue after 32 years.

Rathour said Pant is an exceptional player and his role in the Indian team will be extremely important going ahead.

“His role will be extremely important going ahead. We have always believed that he is one of the exceptional players,” Rathour said in an interview with Hindustan Times.

Pant was dropped from the limited-overs squad for the Australia tour after strings of poor performances but he bounced back with solid performances in the red-ball cricket to prove his value.

“He had a tough time last year or so. But he has been working hard, training hard. We all believed (that) on his day, he is a match-winner. In the last two games, he proved that. Being a left-hander is definitely an advantage (for the team).

The southpaw also played a crucial 97-run knock in the second innings of the Sydney Test as India managed to draw the game to keep their hopes alive in the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.

However, Rathour said that the decision of including Pant in the playing XI as a pure batsman will be taken on a particular day according to the situation.

“As far as his entering the XI (purely) as a batsman, the decision will be taken on that particular day when the question arises,” Rathour said.

Pant has been included in the squad for the first two Tests of four-match series against England which is scheduled to start from February 5.