Rishabh Pant
Indian wicketkeeper-batter Rishabh Pant will play a key role in the series opener against South Africa.

Rishabh Pant‘s childhood coach Tarak Sinha recently recalled a ‘touching’ yet ‘disturbing’ anecdote about the youngster. He revealed how Rishabh Pant once drove an hour to apologize to him at 3:30 AM because he couldn’t see him upset.

Sinha, who is the head coach of Delhi’s iconic club Sonnet, has played an integral role in the 23-year-old’s meteoric rise in international cricket. He has closely observed the growth of the young wicketkeeper-batsman over the years.

Sinha’s coaching tenure involved some ‘harsh’ talks to the southpaw. He revealed how an incident during a training session at Sonnet made Pant drove all the way to his door at midnight.

“Once I got upset with him during one of the net sessions at my club Sonnet which is in South Delhi. He couldn’t sleep for the whole night and knocked on my door around 3:30 am! I live in Vaishali (National Capital Region) and which is almost an hour’s drive where he was staying in Delhi,” Sinha told Cricketnext.com.

“I was like at this time? Why? He said that he wanted to apologise because he could never see me being upset. That was touching as well as disturbing since he had to make that journey post-midnight. In fact, my family was so upset with me that I was harsh on the kid,” he added.

The youngster has now played over 70 international games for India, amassing almost 2,400 runs across formats. He has already made match-winning contributions to India’s historic triumphs over Australia and England.

His recent rapid rise has meant that comparisons with former Indian skipper and wicketkeeper-batsman, MS Dhoni, have only increased in intensity. Moreover, he also took over the captaincy role of Delhi Capitals in the now-postponed IPL 2021.

Rishabh Pant impressively led the Capitals to the top of the table before the tournament was halted. Though many have suggested that Pant could lead India in the future, Sinha feels it’s still ‘too early’ to make that call as the youngster needs to mature more before taking over the reigns of the Indian team.

“It’s a little too early to say that. Pant has to establish himself first more as a player. If you look at the iconic players like Dhoni and Virat Kohli, they had to do a lot before they got the captaincy. Similarly, Pant needs to grow as a player and then in future selectors can think about those things,” he stated.

“He has done reasonably well for Delhi Capitals in IPL this year and has led Delhi Ranji team to final as well in the past. Not that he is intimidated by additional responsibility but as of now he is a kid and, still a long way to go before he can be seen as India captaincy material,” he concluded.

Pant is currently in Mumbai, preparing for the upcoming tour of the UK. India are scheduled to play the WTC Final against New Zealand in June, followed by a five-match Test series against England.

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