Former Indian wicketkeeper-batsman Farokh Engineer has praised Rishabh Pant while recalling his heroic knock at the Sydney Cricket Ground and Gabba in Brisbane. Going into the Australian tour, Pant had been under some pressure for not being able to score big runs frequently. But, his 97 in Sydney and then a match-winning 89 at Gabba helped India clinch a historic series victory.
During a recent interaction, Engineer spoke about Pant while also talking of MS Dhoni in the same breath. He remarked that both the wicketkeeper reminded him of his younger days. He noted that like the two wicketkeepers, he was also an attacking batter back in his days. But, he cheekily said that he believes he was a better keeper than both of them.
He also said that he was someone who was a keeper first, then a batter, but it is the vice versa for Pant and Dhoni. “I’ve always liked Rishabh Pant as an individual. I’m very fond of him. Pant and Dhoni reminded me of my younger days. I was the same attacking batsman, but I’d like to think I was a better wicketkeeper,” Engineer said in an interview with Sports Tak.
Rishabh Pant carries supreme confidence: Engineer
Engineer further went on to say that in limited-overs cricket, a team can pick a player who is predominantly a batter and then a keeper. But for the five-day Test cricket, a team has to have a proper wicketkeeper. He further pointed out that Pant’s weakness was that he was snatching the ball and getting up early. Engineer then remarked that the Delhi player is a much-improved keeper now.
Talking about Pant, the former cricketer further said, “As a batsman, he is a unique phenomenon. He’s got that confidence that very few people have. You saw him in Australia, only a complete idiot or a man with supreme confidence would do that. And I wouldn’t call him an idiot at all. I would call it supreme confidence.”
Pant, who is currently playing in the Test series in England has been a vital part of this Indian team. The 83-year-old, who might have got the reserve-sweep shot story wrong, ended by saying that he hopes the very best for the young cricketer.
“He is a very talented cricketer. I wish him nothing but the very best of everything. He is maturing with every game and he will be a great servant for India,” he said.