Rishabh is that kind of rare cricketer who, we cricket fans are destined to love and loath at the same time. It is a quality which famous Indian attacking opening batsman Krishnamachari Srikkanth oozed and Virender Sehwag possessed in tons.
The second innings of the 2nd Cape Town test match in the ongoing India South Africa test series saw wicket-keeper batsman Pant getting out to a reckless shot. A shot that was instantly labelled irresponsible, harsh, totally unwarranted and against the demands of the situation of the game, by experts and commentators. Many past masters of the game and icons immediately started criticizing Pant. Many thought that it is time that the Indian team's chief coach (Rahul Dravid) should have a word with Pant.
Pants series-winning knock in Gaba, Australia, which was hailed as a knock of great maturity, responsibility and bravery, was quickly forgotten. His lack of application was brought into focus.
Well, we don't know whether Dravid did have a word with him or not. Though Captain Kohli had, on the eve of the game, said that "Pant has been spoken to." But in the third test Pant scored a responsible and a blazing century. The only shining part of the otherwise lacklustre Indian batting performance. The innings was outstanding for the importance it had in the context of this game. Pant now has 4 test tons, one each in South Africa, Australia, England and India.
In his short career in the Indian team, of just 27 tests, he has given the cricket-loving people a lot to talk about. He is essentially an attacking batsman who wants to dominate. From whatever we have seen, he plans to continue it this way. Most cricket experts would agree that it would not be advisable to temper with his instincts as a batsman. We trust the astute cricket mind of Dravid to know how to handle the unbridled brilliance of Pant. It seems this time it worked. But all said Pant will continue to fire and misfire. And we cricket fans will continue to make noises about it. But he has so much talent and attitude that he cannot be ignored.