Rishabh Pant’s first stint as captain of the Indian team was a rather adventurous one. Appointed captain a day before the start of the India vs South Africa T20I series after a groin injury ruled KL Rahul out, Pant lost the first two matches. Then, with the series on the line, Pant and his young Indian team regrouped to win the third and fourth T20Is to level the series. In all this, Pant’s batting remained a concern while he also failed to win a single toss.
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While Pant is a strong contender to become India’s future leader, the 24-year-old still has a long way to go, feels former BCCI selector and coach Madan Lal. The former India World Cup winning all-rounder is not in favour of Pant captaining the Indian team, not just yet, because he reckons the youngster needs to first show maturity as a batter, which can then reflect on his leadership skills.
“I would have stopped him from becoming captain. Wouldn’t have allowed it. Because such a player needs to be given this responsibility later. Becoming an India captain is a big deal. He is a youngster. He isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. The longer he plays, he will gain more maturity,” Lal said on Sports Tak.
Lal compared Pant’s captaincy to MS Dhoni and Virat Kohli and made a very interesting point. Additionally, he pointed out that in order for Pant to show maturity in his batting and captaincy, the youngster needs to give himself at least two years’ time before he could be seriously considered a strong contender for captaincy.
“Over the next two years, if he can take his game to the next level, then he can be a good captain, can deal with things maturely. This is a player of a different nature. MS Dhoni was a quiet and cool captain, which suited him as captain. Virat Kohli is a brilliant batter. I’m not saying Pant shouldn’t be swinging his bat but if he can play with a little more maturity, it would be great,” added Lal.