Rishabh Pant, who was Team India’s first choice for a wicket-keeper as late as last year, suddenly finds himself out of a spot in the playing XI in all three formats of the game. KL Rahul’s skills as a keeper pushed Pant down the order in limited-overs cricket, and Wriddhiman Saha’s superior wicket-keeping skills prompted the team to choose him over Pant, who found himself in the bench during Tests.
Ajinkya Rahane sympathized with Pant, as he could relate to being dropped from the XI. Rahane lost his position in the team despite being India’s vice-captain in 2018. The Mumbai right-hander, however, made a strong comeback and has cemented his place in the side.
On the eve of the first Test against New Zealand in Wellington, Rahane said, “It’s important to accept whatever you are going through. Be positive, try and learn as many things as possible from any of the players. Not saying it has to be senior or junior.”
When asked how one can internalize failure and rejection, Rahane said on needs to accept their weak points and internalizing their failures becomes key.
“See, no one likes to sit outside but whatever your team needs on a particular game, you have got to accept that. I think acceptance is really important talking about that particular individual. Focus on controllables, keeping working hard and improve as a cricketer.”
While there has been no official confirmation on India’s wicket-keeper in the first Test against New Zealand, strong indicators point to Saha, who did a commendable job as a wicket-keeper in the Test series against Bangladesh.
“You should try and focus on what he can control as a player and keep visualizing that you will get an opportunity. You know what your role is. For Rishabh, he bats at No 6 or 7, so keep visualising about what if he gets an opportunity and what his role is. Keep it simple,” said Rahane.