India wicketkeeper-batter Rishabh Pant will continue to improve as a player and there’s no need to compare him with anyone else, the legendary Sachin Tendulkar has said. Pant has often found himself being put in the same category as that of the legendary wicketkeeper-batter duo of MS Dhoni and Adam Gilchrist.
Apart from the fact that the three were wicketkeepers, they were also known for their ultra-aggressive approach to batting and ability to finish games. However, Tendulkar has cautioned against drawing parallels as he feels that each player should be allowed to carve out an individual identity.
“I don’t like comparing players,” Tendulkar told CNN News18 in an exclusive interview. “Each player has his own identity. Rishabh Pant would want to be known as Rishabh Pant and not no 2 Adam Gilchrist. Every individual likes his own identity, that is what Rishabh would like too.”
“I would judge him for what he’s able to do as an individual not in comparison of someone (else). The impact that he had last time was tremendous. He will get better and better with time,” Tendulkar added.
Pant has copped his fare share of criticism after bursting onto the scene as a power-hitter. He was unable to be consistent over a period of time and his wicketkeeping skills were also put under the microscope.
In recent times though, especially in Test cricket, the 23-year-old has seemingly started justifying the hype surrounding him with match-defining innings in Australia and against England at home.
Tendulkar says patience is the keyword with the youngster and he’s bound to improve with time. “With experience he will understand he needs to be little more patient and see off those couple of overs and then can get back to his normal style which has been extremely aggressive and I enjoy what I see,” Tendulkar said.
He also highlighted the batting styles of Pant and Cheteshwar Pujara adding both the batters hold individual importance in the setup.
“He (Pant) is fearless and confident,” Tendulkar said. “With time he is going to get only better. He is not going to be what he used to be. He likes to play big shots. He can’t be compared to someone like Pujara because Pujara’s dismissal shots are different. His way of scoring is different. Both are equally important.”
He continued, “Pujara is also important to our team. I am giving you two extremes someone who is cautious and tires out the opposition and the other guy, lower down the order, he has to attack. He has been able to do that successfully… Let’s (try to) understand rather than judging him every time.”