Rishabh Pant Should Have Kept Wickets, Feels Mohammad Azharuddin

Former India captain Mohammad Azharuddin on Sunday said he feels that Rishabh Pant should have kept wickets instead of Dinesh Karthik in the first T20 International (T20I) against the Windies at Eden Gardens in Kolkata. Karthik kept wickets as Pant, who is expected to take over the gloves from MS Dhoni when the latter retires, played as a specialist batsman. “I honestly feel Rishabh Pant should have kept wickets. When you’re a keeper you got to keep wickets,” Azharuddin said.

Azharuddin said he was not impressed by the 21-year old’s glovework in England and needs to keep wickets on a regular basis to get better.

“He is a good player. He has done well. The more he keeps wickets, the more he will learn. I think his keeping needs to improve a lot. In England, he batted well but his keeping left a lot to be desired,” added the 55-year old.

Kuldeep Yadav returned superb figures of 3/13 in his four overs, also completing 100 wickets in T20I cricket.

“Kuldeep has fast emerged as a good bowler. Now, he is bowling well and improving everyday. In the years to come he will be a major force,” Azharuddin said.

Azharuddin was also full of praise for stand-in captain Rohit Sharma, terming the Mumbai batsman as a “cool” customer, who has shown his leadership skills whenever given a chance. 

“He is calm and cool. Whenever he is given a chance, he has proved that he is a good captain. In the Asia Cup also, he did really well. He is improving everyday. He is a very cool captain.”

India won the opening T20I clash by five wickets in a tricky 110-run chase before the Indian bowlers restricted the Windies to a paltry 109/8 in 20 overs.

The second T20I is will be held at the Ekana International Cricket Stadium in Lucknow on November 6.

(With IANS inputs)