Cricket

ICC T20 World Cup: Ian Smith Highlights Similarities Between Rishabh Pant And Adam Gilchrist

Rishabh Pant’s comparison with Adam Gilchrist would be pre-mature at this stage but the India wicket-keeper batter can certainly get close to the Australian great’s records if he can maintain his current form, reckons former New Zealand international Ian Smith

rishabh pant batting X @BCCI
Rishabh Pant during a practice session before the warm-up game against Bangladesh. Photo: X/ @BCCI
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Rishabh Pant’s comparison with Adam Gilchrist would be pre-mature at this stage but the India wicket-keeper batter can certainly get close to the Australian great’s records if he can maintain his current form, reckons former New Zealand international Ian Smith. (More Cricket News)

Himself a wicket-keeper batter, Smith is impressed with what Pant has done since his comeback from a horrific car accident. He had a good IPL and has now carried that form into the T20 World Cup.

Pant is among the most exciting talents in the game, having already logged Test hundreds in Australia, England and South Africa, something even his mentor M S Dhoni could not achieve.

However, Pant has a long way to go when compared with Gilchrist, who amassed more than 15000 runs in international cricket besides taking more than 800 catches behind the stumps.

“Rishabh Pant since his accident has come back very strong and he looks in terrific form. He is dynamic. He's aggressive, he's dangerous,” said Smith, who has now become one of the most respected voices in the game and is currently commentating on T20 World Cup.

Like Gilchrist, Pant has shown he can bat up and down the order across formats.

“He can compliment who's with him, whether he comes in to support Kohli or whether he comes in to support... Rohit Sharma, so three is a good spot for him because I firmly believe that in white ball cricket your best players should have the opportunity to face the most deliveries. And so that's what makes him valuable.

“He can hit the first ball he faces out of the ground and he's got other bailout options as well if it doesn't work out that way. I mean, you know, he's replaced a very good player in K L Rahul. KL Rahul is a world class cricketer. That says it all for me,” said Smith.

However, the 26-year-old’s comparison with Gilchrist can wait.

“Ah yeah, well, he's got a bit to go. But yes, similar type cricketer who can, in test cricket, bat down the order. And in white ball cricket can be back at the top of the order. So there's that similarity with Gilchrist there. But if he continues on the same vein for a few more years, then people will say Gilchrist and Pant, yeah, very close,” said the 67-year-old from Nelson.

For him, Pant is surely one of the best in the modern-game alongside Quinton de Kock, Jos Buttler and Mohammad Rizwan.

Indian team has not been able to win major titles due to fear of failure

India have not won a world trophy since 2013 and Smith empathised with the most followed team on the planet.

“Fear of failure is a massive thing in sport. Pressure is a big thing. Being able to handle the big occasion. I mean, I don't think any team in the world, or cricket in particular, plays with as much pressure on their shoulders as the Indian cricket team.

“The expectation... desire from the population for the team to win almost every game. Every day you get out of bed you have to win. It's a tough thing to have to bear.”

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