Cricket

Kohli puts his weight behind Pant

Giving him his space: The team has to rally around the beleaguered Rishabh Pant, feels Virat Kohli.

Giving him his space: The team has to rally around the beleaguered Rishabh Pant, feels Virat Kohli.   | Photo Credit: KVS Giri

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‘Once he comes good, you will see a different version of him’

“He needs to be left alone, we know he's a match-winner and once he comes good you will see a different version of him,” India captain Virat Kohli was unequivocal in his support for ‘under fire’ wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant.

Kohli’s backing should bolster the youngster’s confidence.

“We certainly believe in Rishabh's ability. It's the player's responsibility to work hard and perform, but there’s a collective responsibility as well to give him the space to do well,” the captain said.

“If he misses a chance people should not be shouting ‘MS’ in the stadium. It's not respectful. No player would like that to happen. If you're playing in your own country, you should get support rather than have people waiting for you to make a mistake,” Kohli said.

“You've seen the match-winner version of him in the IPL. Because he's free, relaxed there. He feels there's a lot more respect when it comes to his ability,” said Kohli.

“He needs to be given space, but not isolated to the extent that he gets nervous on the field. If you want him to do well and win matches for the team, all of us collectively need to make him feel he belongs,” the captain said. On whether Pant would be used as an opening batsman, Kohli said: “Not really, in the Indian team if you look at the top three or four batsmen right now they are set.”

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Printable version | Jan 25, 2020 7:20:36 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/cricket/kohli-puts-his-weight-behind-pant/article30196275.ece

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