Former West Indies batsman Brian Lara has said that Indian youngster Rishabh Pant is stepping up in terms of "responsibility as a batsman." Pant, who plays for Delhi Capitals, has remained significantly cautioned in his outings with the bat in this season of the IPL, which is very unfamiliar to his batting style over the years.
The wicketkeeper-batsman has scored 171 runs in five matches in the tournament so far. Lara has said that Pant "wants that onus on him to score runs."
When asked if Pant is the number one choice to replace MS Dhoni behind the stumps for the Indian team, Lara said, "Rishabh Pant a year ago, I would say no, but I feel that he has stepped up in terms of his responsibility as a batsman. Look at how he plays for Delhi Capitals, it looks like he wants that responsibility, he wants that onus on him to score runs, build an innings and get big scores."
"If he continues that way, I think that he should be the number one," he added, while speaking on Star Sports Cricket Connected show.
Pant, who bats at number four for the Capitals, has registered scores of 31, 37*, 28, 38 and 37 in his five outings so far.
Lara also talked about KL Rahul, who captains Kings XI Punjab and also keeps the wickets for the side. Rahul had replaced Pant as wicketkeeper-batsman in India's limited-overs team, following the youngsters' inconsistent performances with the bat.
The Windies great said that Rahul should be concentrating on his batting and does not bother about wicketkeeping.
"Well, first of all I would like to say that KL Rahul should not be bothered with wicketkeeping when it comes to that Indian squad. He's such a great batsman that I feel that he should concentrate on that and put in a lot of runs on the board," Lara said.
Dhoni had retired from international cricket in August after representing India in 350 ODIs, 90 Tests and 98 T20Is while affecting a staggering 829 dismissals behind the stumps across formats.