NEW DELHI: Former India pacer Ashish Nehra believes young wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant, who was initially said to be MS Dhoni’s successor, needs backing of the team management for a longer duration.
“There are a lot of talented players but they should be backed for a longer duration. Today also when we talk about the number 5 and 6 slots in Indian ODI side, then we are not sure about it,” Nehra said while speaking to former Indian cricketer Aakash Chopra on his show ‘Aakash Vani’.
“KL Rahul is playing on the 5th position and Pant, the person you were preparing to succeed M.S. Dhoni, is serving water,” he added.
Before cricket was stopped due to coronavirus, Pant had lost his place in the Indian team in white-ball cricket to Rahul. Pant’s inconsistencies cost him as the Indian team management handed over the wicket-keeping gloves to Rahul, who took over the role with great ease.
“I know he has missed his chances and there is no doubt about it but then you have kept him in the team because you saw the potential in him at 22-23 years,” Nehra said.
The former left-arm pacer also gave his views on Virat Kohli’s captaincy, saying the latter is still a work in progress when it comes to him in the role of a skipper.
“Virat Kohli as a player needs no recognition as his career graph tells the entire story. Kohli as a player has done amazingly well, in captaincy I still feel he is a work in progress. I can say he is a little bit impulsive captain,” said the 41-year-old.
Nehra, who played 17 Tests, 120 ODIs and 27 T20Is, also said that the current Indian team is far from that of Australia of the 2000s.
“This Indian team is far from the Australia team. You are talking about an Australian team which won 3 consecutive World Cups, reached the final in 1996, won 18-19 Test matches in home and away conditions,” said Nehra, who still holds the record for best figures by an Indian bowler in a World Cup.
“It’s not like this Indian team can not reach there but I believe the core group is very important. A person gets confused after watching many dishes on the table and so it’s important to have fewer but better dishes,” he added.