‘It is my responsibility to get him back to his best’ – Ravi Shastri on Rishabh Pant

The debate over Rishabh Pant’s position in the Indian cricket team has gathered quite a lot of momentum in the recent past. With Wriddhiman Saha performing brilliantly well in the recently concluded Test series against South Africa, the pressure has increased for the youngster and things did not improve as Sanju Samson was also added in the squad for the upcoming T20 series against Bangladesh. However, India head coach Ravi Shastri sounded positive about the wicket-keeper’s chances and said that it is his responsibility to ‘get him back to his best’.

“The team management will ensure there’s a sense of security among the pool of players and we will also ensure that if there’s any lack of communication between the selectors and the players, the team management will step in and make sure that everybody’s on the same page at all times. Look at Rishabh for instance — it is my responsibility to get him back to his best when he’s struggling. I have the right to scold him when I’m unhappy as much as I’m sure I’ll give him a standing ovation when he does well,” Shastri said in an interview with Times of India.

Selection committee chairman MSK Prasad on Thursday during the announcement of the squads for the T20I and Test series against Bangladesh said they are “moving on”, clearly indicating that veteran MS Dhoni is not in their scheme of things anymore. His committee will instead focus on Rishabh Pant, Dhoni’s natural heir, Prasad said.

“This is our clear thought process that post World Cup we are focusing on Rishabh Pant only,” he said.

When the question on Dhoni’s future in international cricket was repeated, the chief selector added, “I made it very clear post the World Cup that we are moving on. We are giving opportunities to youngsters and see that they establish themselves in the side.

“With Rishabh Pant doing so well and even Sanju Samson coming into the side, I am sure you must be understanding our thought process.”

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