Former India pacer Zaheer Khan has stated that Rishabh Pant relies too heavily on his instincts when it comes to captaincy. Zaheer found similarities between the youngster’s batting and leadership, pointing out that with him it is always about two extremes.
Having been dismissed for an ungainly 17 off 23, there was some respite for Pant as India won the fourth T20I against South Africa by 82 runs to square the five-match series 2-2. Critics were reasonably impressed with the keeper-batter’s captaincy as India’s bowlers cleaned up the Proteas for 87, defending a total of 169.
Speaking after the game, Zaheer also praised Pant. However, he had captaincy advice for the youngster. During a discussion on Cricbuzz, the former cricketer opined:
“When he scores runs, people talk about him. When he doesn’t, people still talk about him. There’s a similar style of pattern in his captaincy. We have to give him time. He likes to think out of the box. He tries to follow his instincts far too much. He likes to take a lot of chances. He has to find that balance when he makes extreme decisions. It’s just like his batting.”
However, Zaheer lauded the youngster’s attitude towards the game and asserted that the 24-year-old will definitely get better as a cricketer with experience. The 43-year-old stated:
“One thing that stands out with him is that he is very serious about his cricket. That no one can question. He is very passionate about the game. He wants to do things at a rapid pace. With time, he will get what he wants because he knows where he is headed.”
In four matches of the T20I series so far, the stand-in Indian captain has registered scores of 29, 5, 6 and 17.
“They would want to finish strong” – Zaheer Khan backs Pant and Co. to retain same XI
Looking ahead to the deciding match in Bengaluru, Zaheer asserted that Team India have no reason to make any changes in the playing XI. He said:
“That has been the hallmark of the series. They have not gone in any other direction, knowing this is the XI they believe in. Once they lost the first two games, it became even more important to stick with them and understand the process.
However, he warned India against getting complacent and urged them to play the last match with the same intensity. Zaheer added:
“Look at the balance, all the options are there. Four seamers, two quality spinners – that covers most bases. Now, they would want to finish strong, create that belief that they can come back from any situation.”
The final T20I of the series between India and South Africa will be played at the Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru on Sunday (June 19).