Veteran India star Suresh Raina, who has been training alongside some of his Indian teammates in Ghaziabad, praised young wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant. Pant, who was pegged to be MS Dhoni’s future replacement, saw several ups and downs in 2019, and in 2020, was replaced in the playing XI by KL Rahul. Raina, who has been training with Pant, said that the left-hander is a gun player and can do wonders for the team.
Speaking on the ‘Follow the Blues’ segment of this week’s episode of Star Sports’ chat show Cricket Connected, Raina said: “I have been practising with Rishabh Pant. He was hitting the ball very well. Then I had a net with Shami. All bowlers have been coming here and practising. Piyush Chawla also came, he bowled really well.”
“I have been speaking to a lot of the players, everything has been planned. Deepak Chahar has been playing and MS Dhoni is also training hard at his home. Everyone has to do it because this game requires lot of fitness, lot of commitment,” he added.
Talking about Pant, Raina further said: “I think Rishabh Pant has been amazing. He has scored a lot of runs for the country as well as in the IPL and in domestic cricket. He has got two Test hundreds. He played really well in T20s as well as ODIs.”
“I think he is a gun player, he has a quality future. He needs to be really looked after by his teammates. And then you will see lot of great performances coming from him very soon,” he added.
On being asked about the preparation plans for the upcoming season of IPL in UAE, Raina revealed: “We are going to have a camp. We have lots to do, we are going there I think 18-20 days before. It is good to go early because IPL is coming and we have been under lockdown for 4-5 months. So, it is good to be there before IPL and it is going to be exciting.”
With Rishabh Pant losing his place as the starting wicketkeeper batsman to KL Rahul, he will be desperate to outperform this IPL to cement his place in the squad for the delayed T20 World Cup of 2021. With the mega cash rich league ready to make a return, the cricketing festival is sure to provide much needed excitement to a nation reeling from the effects of Coronavirus.