Former India fielding coach R Sridhar has made some shocking revelations about his relationship with Indian wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant. The Delhi-born keeper has been a crucial member of India’s Test set-up and has rescued the team from many difficult situations. In these times, Pant has shown maturity and composure but this hasn’t been the case always.
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In his new book, ‘Coaching Beyond’, Sridhar stated how Pant was far from the player he is and made him extremely frustrated by not takings suggestions in his early days. The 52-year-old further talked about how he had to work extra hard with Pant and find different methods to work with the keeper.
In his book, Sridhar said, "There were some inputs he was little reluctant to take. Because he trusted the game that had brought him to this level. Sometimes, I must confess, it drove me nuts, his stubbornness. But getting angry or frustrated wasn't going to help anyone. I had to find a way to get Rishabh to try and do different things, if only for him to figure out if those changes might actually be beneficial to his keeping."
R Sridhar further described time as tough love and wrote about how he had to ignore Pant at times and stopped giving him input. This led to the young keeper making a few mistakes before turning back to him and asking for suggestions. The excerpt from the book said, "We spent a lot of time together at practice, often just him and me and I decided it was time for a little tough love.
“I stopped giving suggestions and inputs and would ignore his quizzical looks when the ball burst through his hands or he fumbled with his collection. Rishabh has the smarts so it didn't take him long to work out something wasn't quite right. After a while, he walked up to me and said 'Sir, you aren't saying anything. Please tell me what to do. Smiling inwardly, I said 'Maybe you should lead with your head and not with your hands. Satisfied at having got me to shed my silence, he did precisely that. As the head led the way, so did the body and he was more assured in collecting the ball."
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