‘Fearless’ Pant cannot be ‘careless’, says India coach

India's Rishabh Pant
India's Rishabh Pant

India’s new batting coach Vikram Rathour warned Rishabh Pant and other rising stars on Tuesday not to turn from “fearless” to “careless” as the national team prepare for next year’s Twenty20 World Cup.

The 21-year-old Pant, who is being groomed to take over from MS Dhoni as first-choice wicketkeeper, has also made an impact as an explosive batsman.

But the left-hander, who made his Test debut in England last year and scored his maiden century during the series, has often been accused of throwing away his wicket.

“Of course we want him to play all his shots,” Rathour, who took over from Sanjay Bangar as batting coach, told reporters ahead of the second T20 against South Africa in Mohali on Wednesday.

“He needs to be fearless because that is what makes him special. He is an impact player but at the same time he cannot afford to be careless.

“He is a phenomenal player. (But) he needs to bring a little discipline in to his cricket.

“All the young players should understand that there is a fine line between fearless and careless cricket.”

Virat Kohli’s India have focussed on T20s since their failure at the 50-over World Cup this year where they lost to New Zealand in the semi-finals.

The opening T20 of the three-match series against South Africa in Dharamsala on Sunday was abandoned because of rain.

“In the past T20 was not taken seriously. Now since you are preparing for the World Cup all these games are going to be extremely important,” said Rathour, a former India opener.

“And I think the next 20-21 games we will be playing will be our preparation for the World Cup.”

The World Cup is to be held in Australia in October-November next year.