Rahul Dravid hints at ‘conversations’ with wicket-keeper batter Rishabh Pant over timing of his shots

Johannesburg, January 7

India head coach Rahul Dravid has hinted at having a conversation with wicket-keeper batter Rishabh Pant over the timing of his shots, including the wild slog that led to his dismissal in the second innings of the lost second Test against South Africa here.

Speaking to media after India’s seven-wicket defeat on Thursday, Dravid said he would always want Pant to play positive cricket but at times, the shot selection can be different.

“We know Rishabh plays positively and he plays in a particular manner and that has got him a little bit of success. But of course there are times when we are going to have to have some sort of level of conversations around that,” he said.

“…it is just little bit or may be selection of the time to play that (shot),” Dravid added at the virtual post-match press conference.

Pant tried to smash Kagiso Rabada out of the ground on the third ball of his innings but ended up edging it to the wicketkeeper, drawing sharp criticism from all quarters.

“No one is going to ever tell Rishabh (Pant) not to be a positive player or not to be an aggressive player but sometimes it is just the question of picking and choosing the time to do that,” Dravid said when specifically asked whether he was upset with Pant’s shot.

Dravid, himself a veteran of 164 Tests, also said that Pant can change the course of the game very quickly.

“…maybe giving yourself a little more time might be a little bit more advisable but look I mean in the end, we know what we are getting with Rishabh,” he explained.

“He is a really positive player, he is someone who can change the course of the game very quickly for us, so naturally we won’t take that away from him and ask him to become something very different.

“But sometimes, it is just about figuring out what is the right time to maybe attack and play out (a) slightly difficult period that sets the game up for you or sets your innings up. So, I mean he (Pant) is learning.

“He plays in a particular way, so it’s always something that he is going to keep learning, keep improving and keep getting better,” elaborated Dravid. PTI

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