MANCHESTER: Rishabh Pant is already regretting his poor shot-selection and will grow into a mature batsman with time, India skipper Virat Kohli said backing the young batsman, facing flak for throwing away his wicket in Wednesday’s semifinal.
Citing his own example, Kohli said he too committed a lot of avoidable mistakes during the early days of his career and hoped Pant will also learn.
World Cup Schedule
Pant had done all the hard work to steady the innings after the team was reeling at 24 for four. He was well set, batting at 32 but got out while attacking spinner Mitchell Santner.
“He’s still young. I made many errors when I was young in my career and he will learn. He will look back and think yes, he could have chosen a different option in that situation and he realises that already,” Kohli strongly came to the youngster’s defence.
READ ALSO: PM Narendra Modi lauds Team India’s fighting spirit
In fact, the skipper wanted to look at the positive aspect that how he rebuilt the innings along with Hardik Pandya.
“He (Pant) is an instinctive player and did well to overcome that situation and stringing a partnership with Hardik (Pandya). I think the way they played after the loss of three wickets, four wickets rather, was quite commendable. I am sure he will reflect on it and he will come out stronger,” he said.
The skipper was seen animatedly discussing a point with coach Ravi Shastri immediately after Pant holed out in the deep.
However, he said it’s the player who suffers the most after committing an error.
“So all these guys have a lot of pride and passion to play for their country and they are the ones who feel the most disappointed when a mistake happens. From the outside it looks like it was an error but the person who makes it, trust me, they are the ones who suffer the most with it.”
For the skipper, Pant is one for the future with the kind of talent he possesses.
“The talent is there for everyone to see and the character is there, but, as I said, yes, a few shots (refers to Hardik Pandya), not just Rishabh’s. But that happens in sport. You make errors, you make decisions which are not right at that time and you have to accept it.”
Kohli was particularly happy for Ravindra Jadeja, who put up a lion-hearted show with the bat.
“I don’t think we had to say anything to Jadeja after what happened over the last one week. He was quite ready to just get on to the park, to be honest (smiles),” Kohli said with obvious reference to Sanjay Manjrejar’s ‘bits and pieces’ cricketer remark.
“I’m really happy for him because he’s been a very understated but a top quality cricketer for India on the field, with the ball, with the bat, priceless, so he’s had a great game today.”
He is certainly sad that one bad day in the knock-outs ended a good campaign and wouldn’t mind if ICC revisits the format.
“I think we are sad but we are not devastated because of the kind of cricket that we played in this tournament. We know where we stood as a team and today we were not good enough (today) and that is the nature of this tournament. A bad day in the knockout stage you are out of the tournament,” he lamented.
“May be, we could have a re-look at the format where a team that has been consistent doesn’t get knocked out for having one bad day,” the skipper said.
The skipper is however sure that there would be some introspection of the performance but not immediately.
“I don’t think that I would like to break things down immediately. But in time we’ll have to sit down and analyse where we went wrong and the things we could have done right in this game particularly.”