Former South African fast bowler, Dale Steyn opines that Rishabh Pant’s spot as a wicket-keeper batter in the team can be in threat after the performances of Ishan Kishan. While Rishabh Pant is currently preparing for the T20 World Cup in Australia, along with the Indian contingent, Kishan was a part of a second-string Indian squad, led by Shikhar Dhawan, that won the ODI series against the Proteas on Tuesday (October 11).
In the second ODI at Ranchi, Ishan Kishan’s home turf, he played a match-winning knock of 84-ball 93-run knock to pave India’s path to a win, but fell short of just seven runs from getting his maiden international century. While chasing a 279-run target, Kishan and Iyer stitched up a massive 161-run partnership for the third wicket which later proves as the reason behind India’s crucial victory.
While relating an intriguing tale of the young player’s early IPL days, Dale Steyn said it was high time Ishan Kishan earns a long rope in India’s ODI roster. During a chat on Star Sports, Dale Steyn said, “I actually played with him a bit way back in the IPL. He seemed like a baby. We nicknamed him Justin Bieber because he was like this absolute rockstar. I’ve watched him go and get better. For a short and small man, he packs an incredible punch.”
He further added, “These sixes off Nortje aren’t small. They’re pure timing and muscle. And just the ability to recognize when to take on the bowler… he is a great player and guy in that Indian team… Rishabh Pant should be worried that someone is coming for his spot.”
India registered a 7-wicket win over South Africa in the series finale on Tuesday in New Delhi, sweeping the series 2-1. A group of young players rose to the occasion and put on a strong performance. The team looked in terrific shape courtesy of Shreyas Iyer’s game-winning, unbeaten hundred in Ranchi and Mohamed Siraj’s efforts that won him the Player of the Series.
Sanju Samson also played an unbeaten knock of 86 in the first game, irrespective of the fact that it went in vain as India lost the contest, but his knock under pressure was a treat to the eyes. Ishan Kishan was dismissed for low scores in the first and third ODIs, but his knock in the second ODI earned him praise from cricketers and pundits worldwide.