While playing just his second World Cup match, left-handed batsman Rishabh Pant contributed with a vital knock of 48 runs off 41 balls in India’s 28-run win over Bangladesh at the Edgbaston, Birmingham. His steady innings came at a crucial point of the game. The burly Rishabh Pant not only needs to be more athletic in the outfield but also improve his throwing technique, observed fielding coach R Sridhar after his few lapses during the World Cup game against Bangladesh. Sridhar admitted that as far as fielding in the outfield is concerned, Pant is still a work in progress.
He needs to be a little more athletic in the field
“A lot of work has to go into him (Pant). First of all, he needs to improve his technique in throwing and also needs to be a little more athletic to be an outfielder,” quoted R Sridhar. The skipper Virat Kohli and senior-most player Mahendra Singh Dhoni have identified a few specific fielding positions in the deep for Pant.
“We have to use him in appropriate (fielding) positions, that is what Virat and MS are keen on. Keep him at right places at the right time. In the last game (vs England), he saved at least five runs which is a huge bonus. He took a catch as well,” the former first-class cricketer said.
As per Sridhar’s assessment, veteran Dinesh Karthik is a better outfielder compared to the young turk. “Obviously, Dinesh despite being a wicketkeeper is a good outfielder. He pulls off some good saves at backward point. Rishabh is developing and he needs to do this a bit more to develop the awareness, to get a hang of it. That’s why we harp about getting fielders in same positions so that they get an idea.”
In a ground like Edgbaston, which isn’t exactly spherical in shape, knowledge of angles becomes important, Sridhar said.
“This is all about awareness just like you saw in the last game against England. This ground is a bit like Eden Gardens. Once you are beaten, there’s no way that you can chase it. There is no point running around towards the boundary line.”
He then spoke about the solution in such uniquely shaped grounds. “You have to cut the angles. We are used to playing in such grounds and we will have to be aware of that. You will always not get grounds of spherical shape so awareness becomes key,” Sridhar added.