Indian team management will never advise Rishabh Pant to curb his natural attacking game as he knows his role and expectations of him, bowling coach Paras Mhambrey said on Tuesday.
One of the most destructive players among the current crop, Pant has five Test hundreds and 10 fifties in 31 games with centuries in England, Australia and South Africa. Ahead of the first Test against Bangladesh, Pant was seen going to the nets with hammer and tongs on Tuesday, prompting a question for Mhambrey about holding talks about the southpaw’s approach.
“We have no special discussion with Rishabh. That’s his game and we know it. Nothing changes, that’s the way he prepares for any size, cue ball and he is quite aware of his role in the team,” he said during the pre-match press conference.
“Our talks are never about the way he plays because he knows what the team expects of him,” said Mhambrey, who watched Pant from his India U-19 days.
Stories for subscribers only
While he did not reveal whether India will go with a third spinner or a third pacer, he was happy that Umesh Yadav, with all his experience, will spearhead the Indian pace attack. “Umesh is a very experienced bowler. We all know what Umesh has to offer.
Unfortunately he didn’t get too many chances because Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami and Mohammed Siraj played in England,” said Mhambrey.
“The team management has spoken to him and had discussions and we have a lot of clarity regarding Umesh. The other way I look at it is that he will lead the offense and he has a lot of experience going into the series. I am also happy how Siraj progressed in Tests and happy that he performed.
The former India sailor admitted that Bumrah and Shami will be missed. “Bumrah and Shami will be missed, but we see it as others who get the chance to play Test cricket and perform for the country,” said Mhambrey.
Mhambrey also admitted that after at least four months of continuous white ball cricket, adapting to the red ball format will be key.
“We play Test Cricket after a long time, it takes a while for that mental change to occur. You just came from the T20 World Cup in Australia and now it’s a different format.
“One good thing is that a lot of these guys are playing matches. Siraj (ODIS), Umesh (India A) played a lot of cricket. Even Navdeep Saini has played a lot as far as the A series is concerned,” said Mhambrey.