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‘He will leave Dhoni and Gilchrist behind by a long distance’: Inzamam on Pant

Inzamam-Ul-Haq, the former Pakistan captain, has made a bold prediction regarding Rishabh Pant, believing that the India wicketkeeper batsman can surpass MS Dhoni and Adam Gilchrist if he can continue his current form.

Pant has been unstoppable ever since his return to the Indian team during the tour of Australia last year. After scoring four fifties and a century in six combined Tests against Australia and England, Pant played an entertaining knock of 77 off 40 balls in the second ODI against England.

Although the effort came in a losing cause, Inzamam is highly impressed seeing Pant’s progress in the last few months, believing the 23-year-old’s range of strokes is simply amazing, and provided he can keep this glorious run of form going, he can very easily overtake two of the greatest wicket-keeper batsmen the game has seen.

“The one who gave India the boost in batting in the lower order was Rishabh Pant, who scored a brilliant 77 off 40 balls. Because of him, India’s run rate spiked. I have been following him for the last 6-7 months, and the way he is batting and scoring effectively at different positions is amazing,” Inzamam said of Pant in his YouTube channel.

“The way he expresses himself and the range of strokes he has, I have seen it only in two wicketkeeper batsmen in the last 30-35 years, MS Dhoni and Adam Gilchrist. These were the two wicket-keepers who could change a match. The kind of performance Rishabh Pant is giving, if he continues to play in the same manner, he will leave both of them behind, and by quite some distance.”

Inzamam feels it was Pant’s whirlwind knock that allowed India to post a mammoth total of 336/6, even though KL Rahul had played an equally brilliant innings, scoring 108 off 114 balls. Pant and Rahul added a century partnership for India’s fourth wicket, with the younger partner hitting three fours and seven sixes during his knock and Inzamam credits Pant for providing the impetus to India in the last 10 overs which saw the home team score over 100 runs.

“It’s not that KL Rahul batted slowly. His innings was magnificent, but the one that changed the match was Pant’s 40-ball 77 and Pandya’s 35 off 16. How they scored in 9 and a half overs made a difference,” the former batsman said.