Former Pakistan pacer Shoaib Akhtar heaped huge praise on flamboyant India wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant as he referred to him as ‘Rishabh Phainta’ for his incredible batting against England in the 3rd ODI match at Old Trafford, Manchester. The southpaw scored unbeaten 125 runs in the series-decider to help India clinch the series 2-1. Pant played with responsibility under pressured and paced his innings to shift the momentum in India’s favour when things were not going well for them.
Pant started slow and took his time getting settled in the tricky 260 chase when India were four down early. However, after hitting the fifty, Pant started playing his shots freely as he put England under pressure with his ferocious batting.
Akhtar said that the England series completely belonged to Pant and called him a courageous player who has all the shots under his kitty.
“He is not Rishabh Pant, he is Rishabh ‘Phainta’. He is an incredibly courageous player. He cuts, he pulls, he also plays the reverse-sweep and isn’t afraid of anything. He won games in Australia and even here, this series should be named after him,” Akhtar said on his YouTube channel.
The former Pakistan pacer called Pant a ruthless player when he gets settled and said only he can stop himself and nobody else can.
“My advice to him would be to improve his physique because he has the talent to put a number of teams into trouble. I was also impressed with the way he was so calculative in the chase. Once he is done pacing his innings, he becomes ruthless and knows how to accelerate. He can only stop himself now from here, I don’t think anyone else can,” he said.
He further advised Pant to work on his witness as he feels that if a player becomes a brand in India then there is no stopping for him in the entire world.
“Rishabh Pant has a talent which is going to trouble a lot of opposition in the future. He is going to be superstar as he has the talent to rule the cricketing world. He just have to work on his fitness,” he added.