Ricky Ponting said Rishabh Pant has to work harder to improve his below-par wicket-keeping skills after a dismal outing with the gloves on the opening day of the Sydney Test on Thursday.
Ponting, who is Pant’s coach at IPL franchise Delhi Capitals, said that the Indian youngster has dropped more catches than any other keeper since his debut.
Pant dropped Australian debutant Will Pucovski twice on the first day, on 26 and 32 off Ashwin Ravichandran and Mohammed Siraj. The opener went on to score 62 before being trapped LBW by Indian debutant Navdeep Saini.
“The ones (dropped catches) today are two that should be taken, simple as that,” Ponting told cricket.com.au.
“Since his debut in Test cricket, he’s dropped more catches than any other keeper in the world. That highlights he has got some work to do with his keeping,”
The former Australian captain added that Pant’s keeping skills will always be a blip for him. The 23-year-old was preferred over veteran wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha mainly for his batting power, but his glovework has put him under the scanner again.
“I’ve said it all along, the knock on Rishabh is always going to be on his keeping,” he said.
Ponting went on to say that he is lucky that on a flat track, Pucovski did not cause more damage given his extra lives.
“It’s probably lucky for Rishabh that Pucovski didn’t go on and make a big hundred or a double hundred and looking at the wicket, it looks like an unbelievable surface
“I’m sure when Rishabh put those catches down, he would have thought the worst and ‘’here we go, he’s really going to make me pay’’ but (Pucovski) didn’t today,” he said.