Thursday, February 29

Rishabh Pant and Adam Gilchrist ‘little bit same’ but still too early to compare them: Ricky Ponting


DUBAI: Ricky Ponting feels Rishabh Pant’s aggressive approach on the field is similar to how the great Adam Gilchrist played the game but comparisons between the two can only be made after the Indian plays at least 50-60 Tests.

The 24-year-old Pant has often been compared to Gilchrist, both southpaws, due to his strikingly similar batting to the Australia legend.

“Yeah, [they are] little bit the same. I know Rishabh’s really burst onto the scene, but let’s just let him play his 50-60 Test matches first before we start making comparisons to one of the all-time great wicket-keeper batters,” Ponting said on ‘The ICC Review’.

Gilchrist has played 96 Tests, scoring 5570 runs at an average of 47.6. He also represented his country in 287 ODIs, amassing 9619 runs at 35.89. While Pant has represented India in 28 Tests, 23 ODIs and 41 T20Is.

“But if you think about their personalities – Rishabh is a lot more outward, a lot louder, a lot noisier and ultra-competitive. “Gilly was ultra-competitive as well, but a lot quieter and reserved, until he got his bat in his hand and then he became exactly the same as Rishabh.”

While Ponting played with and captained Gilchrist, he has also worked closely with Pant, who he coached during his time in the Delhi Capitals.

“You couldn’t try and tell him [Gilchrist] how to play. I remember having a conversation with him late in a Test match at the SCG against Pakistan,” Ponting recalled an anecdote from his playing days with Gilchrist.

“He and I were batting, so we must have been four or five down, maybe just three overs left in the day, of which Danish Kaneria had to bowl two of them – and he was bowling around the wicket to Gilly into the big footmarks with a long-on and deep mid-wicket.

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“So I went down to him and said, ‘Look, let’s just get through tonight, we have a beautiful batting day tomorrow, this wicket’s going to be good. There’s a new ball around the corner, so just get through’. “Next ball, he ran down the wicket, it landed in the footmark and he hit it over long-on’s head for six, and I thought, ‘Well, it doesn’t matter. It’s no good me talking to him because he is not listening’.”

Ponting feels Pant, who has penchant for going after bowlers irrespective of the situation, will turn out the same way.

“Rishabh will be exactly the same. If you look at Rishabh – I am not sure how many Test hundreds he’s got – but he has a few 90s in there. And he’s actually got out trying to bring up his hundred with a six. That’s the good and the bad, right?”

Shaw and Gaikwad exciting talents

Having been part of the IPL for several years now Ponting has been observing the young Indian talent.

“I hung on to one at the Delhi Capitals this year, one of our retained players is Prithvi Shaw, who we saw some absolute brilliance from through the IPL season last year,” said Ponting.

“I still think he is learning a lot about himself as a person and learning a lot about himself as a player. I am not sure I have seen many better to be totally honest.”

Ponting is also impressed by Chennai Super Kings batter Ruturaj Gaikwad.

“The other one that I thought was absolutely outstanding and I have only seen him in T20 cricket, but that’s Ruturaj Gaikwad from Chennai Super Kings. Everyone knew that he was a nice player, more of a technically-correct sort of player but by the end of the IPL, he was doing some amazing things. “He is someone who is I am sure going to play all three formats for India in the coming years.”

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