I want to improve each and every day: Pant

Chennai: Often accused of not putting enough premium on his wicket, rising Indian batsman Rishabh Pant says he has now understood that there is no concept of ‘natural game’ in international cricket where one has to play according to the situation.

Pant’s reckless strokeplay at crucial junctures, leading to soft dismissals, as well as poor work behind the stumps have been the talking points and a matter of concern for the Indian team. But the 22-year-old wicketkeeper-batsman from Delhi finally came good and struck his maiden ODI half-century, albeit in a losing cause, in the first one-dayer against West Indies here.

Pant said he is constantly trying to improve his game. “I’ve realised after playing a fair bit at the international level that unlike at amateur levels of cricket, there isn’t anything like a natural game. At the international level, you have to play according to the situation or what the team demands,” Pant said at the post-match press conference after India lost to West Indies by eight wickets.

“It’s my learning curve, I’m thinking that. From the team’s point of view, whatever I can do to help my team win, to have a good score on the scoreboard, that’s what I was focussing on. In the end, I got some runs,” he added.

He said he will continue to focus on his game rather than think about the ‘talk going around’ about him. “As an individual and as a player, I want to focus on my processes. All the talk going around, they’re good and sometimes they’re not. At the moment, I’m concentrating on my game and that will hold me in good stead,” said Pant who scored 71 off 69 deliveries for his maiden ODI half-century.

Asked what kept him going despite the constant criticism, Pant said it was all about believing in himself and following the process of growth. “will always tell a person that you have to believe in yourself. It doesn’t matter what people say around you. Sometimes you don’t get runs, sometimes you get runs but the process is always important,” said the wicketkeeper-batsman.

Asked how important this knock was in the current circumstances, he said every innings was important for him and he wanted to improve every day. “Personally, if I play for India, every innings is important for me. As a youngster I want to improve each and every day,” Pant said.

NT Bureau