Rishabh Pant's devil-may-care attitude with the bat may have left the Indian dressing room with hearts in their mouth in the World Test Championship (WTC) final, but ex-England spinner Graeme Swann believes the "match-winner" should continue playing fearless cricket.
The 23-year-old wicketkeeper-batsman registered scores of 4 and 41 in his two innings against New Zealand in the marquee clash. On both occasions, he threw his wicket away while trying to take on the opposition bowlers. Pant's reckless dismissal against Trent Boult on the final day of the Test invited a lot of criticism on social media.
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“India have got an absolute superstar in Rishabh Pant going in at 6 or 7. Just go back to one Test match in India’s history. That magnificent century he scored against England (in Ahmedabad) that won them that series. Never forget that.
"It was a counter-attacking innings, played against the grind, playing against the spin a lot of times. It was a brilliant hundred. Had he got in there and “played the situation” and tried to block it, India would not have won that game. It is as simple as that," Swann told Sportskeeda.
“He is a match-winner. All I want to say to cricket fans in India - don’t fix what isn’t broken. You have some absolute goldmine ready to be unearthed and used well for 10 years. Don’t change Rishabh Pant. Let him fail. Let him be. He is absolutely worth it,” he further added.
While many experts criticised Pant's aggressive approach when the situation demanded sensible batting, India skipper Virat Kohli seemed fine with the youngster's intent to score rather than looking to survive. Kohli said it is up to Pant how he sees the shot he got out to in the second innings.
“We don't want him to lose his positivity or optimism in changing the situation for the team. We are not too worried. It is up to him to understand whether it was an error in judgement and rectify it moving forward," Kohli said in the post-match press conference.
"Rishabh's definitely going to be an expressive player whenever he gets an opportunity...he assesses it really well and when things don't come off, you can say error in judgement, which is acceptable in sport," the skipper said.