Virat Kohli used MS Dhoni’s advice to back Rishabh Pant.© AFP
Wicketkeeper-batter Rishabh Pant attracted heavy criticism due to his shot selection in India’s second innings in the second Test match against South Africa in Johannesburg. The visitors lost the Test match by seven wickets as South Africa levelled the three-match series. Pant was dismissed for a three-ball duck during the second innings while trying to charge down the track and hit Kagiso Rabada over the in-field. In the first innings, he could only muster 17 runs off 43 balls. Speaking ahead of the final game of the three-match series, red-ball captain Virat Kohli gave his backing to the 24-year-old and also revealed an advice given by former skipper MS Dhoni.
Kohli said that he has already spoken to Pant during training and the India Test captain believes that the swashbuckling batter would improve on his shortcomings.
“We had a conversation with Rishabh during practice. A batter knows if he played the right shot according to the situation. As long as an individual accepts that responsibility (it should be fine). I think that’s how progress happens and everyone has made mistakes in their career and got out in important situations. Sometimes due to our fault and sometimes due to the pressure. Sometimes due to the bowler’s skill also”, he said during a virtual press conference on Monday.
“It is important to know that what was your mindset in that moment. What decision did you take and where was your mistake. I think only after accepting our mistake, we improve and will make sure that it isn’t repeated again”, he further added.
Sharing a lesson he learnt from former teammate Dhoni, Kohli said that as long there is a gap of “7-8 months” between two mistakes, a player can grow in international cricket.
“At the beginning, MS Dhoni told me that between two mistakes, there should be at least 7-8 months’ gap. Then only your career grows in international cricket. So that has always remained in my system, that I won’t repeat my mistakes again and again. That happens when you reflect on your mistakes”, he said.
“That is something which Rishabh does by himself and I know it. He will definitely keep on improving in the future. He will make sure that in important situations, he will be there for the team and put in a good performance and also learn from his mistakes.”
With the series tied at 1-1, the third Test match between India and South Africa is scheduled to begin from January 11 in Cape Town.
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