Pant is a match winner, says Shastri

Brisbane: His glove-work has often attracted criticism but the Indian team firmly backs Rishabh Pant since he is a match-winner and an impact player on foreign soil, India head coach Ravi Shastri eulogised the young wicket-keeper after he shaped the side’s phenomenal win in the Brisbane Test.

Pant (89 not out off 138 balls) held his nerves and batted with maturity to lead India to a historic three-wicket in the series-deciding fourth Test.

We play Pant abroad because he is a match-winner. When he doesn’t keep well, people criticize him but he can help you win matches like these. Had he stuck around for some time in Sydney (drawn third Test), he could have won us that game as well. He has been brilliant and that’s why we back him, Shastri told official broadcaster Sony at the end of the match.

The coach was effusive in his praise for the entire group which showed tremendous character to bounce back after the humiliation in Adelaide, especially when then side missed stalwarts like Virat Kohli, Jasprit Bumrah, Ravichandran Ashwin, and Ravindra Jadeja.