Former Pakistan spinner Danish Kaneria has questioned Team India wicketkeeper-batter Rishabh Pant’s fitness. He feels that Pant’s weight issues are having an impact on his batting as well as keeping. Speaking on his official YouTube channel, Danish Kaneria has said that Rishabh Pant is lagging because of his fitness when compared to other players. He cited that while Rohit Sharma is also not supremely fit, his case is different as he is only a batter.
Danish Kaneria stated: “Rishabh Pant’s fitness is not up to the mark and is very low. I would say it’s rather mediocre. There was a massive change in terms of the team’s fitness standards when Kohli took over the captaincy. But Pant is lagging behind when compared to others. Although Rohit Sharma’s too isn’t very fit, he is a batter, and it is fine for him. But Pant has to improve his fitness as he is a wicketkeeper. Even at this young age, we’ve seen how he hasn’t been able to crouch properly while keeping in recent games. This is due to his weight issues. It has an effect on his flexibility too. He plays with an approach of hitting the bowlers right from the onset. Mental toughness and maturity will also only come with fitness.”
However, Rishabh Pant will play in India’s upcoming England tour. The rescheduled fifth Test between India and England will take place from July 1 at Edgbaston in Birmingham. Kaneria also added that India’s veteran wicketkeeper Dinesh Karthik is still very fit, even though he is 37 years old. He again added that Rishabh Pant would have to be more consistent in his performances as there are a lot of other players who can replace him.
“When you see Dinesh Karthik, he is super fit even at this age. We’ve seen that in his batting as well as wicketkeeping. Pant may have scored 70-odd in the warmup game, but he hasn’t been consistent and his graph is going down. He will have to fight for his place in the team as there are other options like Dinesh Karthik, Ishan Kishan and Sanju Samson,” Danish Kaneria concluded.