I would always like to bat as high as possible - Rishabh Pant
New Delhi : A slight tweak in hand positioning and body posture was all that it took for Rishabh Pant to turn the tables after a tough stint behind the stumps in England and the fast-rising Indian wicketkeeper-batsman credits Kiran More for making it happen.
He faced sharp criticism for his wicket-keeping skills in adverse English conditions but Pant more than made up for it in Australia.
In England, where the red Dukes was seaming all around, a lot of byes were recorded against Pant’s name, many of them due to the ball moving in the air even after leaving the stumps.
However, things changed in Australia, where he pulled off 20 catches with a world record-equalling 11 scalps in Adelaide.
“Keeping in England was an altogether different experience. After that, I worked with Kiran sir at the NCA on a few specific areas. It included hand-positioning and body posture. Every keeper has distinct movement and I tweaked it a little and it worked,” Pant said.
While Pant didn’t elaborate on the specifics, More, who has been a respected coach as well as former chairman of the national selection committee, pointed out a few basic areas.
“Rishabh had a more sideways movement and I suggested a bit more open chested stance. It helps in balance and keeping a still head, something that is key to Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s success,” More said.
About the positioning of hands, More said, “I advised a very minor change like pointing the finger towards ground rather than the bowler. It helps one avoid injuries and success in taking catches goes up.”
For Pant, the endeavour is to improve everyday and working on his glovework is a part of that process.
“When you make it to the team at a young age, the more you are keen to learn, the better you get at utilising the opportunities that come your way,” the 21 year old said.
The turning point for him was certainly the hundred at the Oval which gave him confidence and it’s effect showed in Australia where he was phenomenal both behind as well as in front of the stumps.
“When I got that hundred in England, the confidence rose to a different level. From there, I started constantly thinking that how can I improve in certain areas. The process of learning that started in England paid off in Australia,” said the heir apparent of Dhoni.