India vs Australia: Footwork & hard hands key to Rishabh Pant’s struggles


Since 2018, no different wicketkeeper has dropped as many catches (13) as Rishabh Pant in Tests. On a day when he dropped two to reprieve Will Pucovski, Sadanand Vishwanath, one among India’s greatest wicketkeepers, has recognized just a few core areas – footwork and hands – the place Pant can enhance to grow to be a greater gloveman.

In his first drop, when Pucovski poked at a supply from R Ashwin when he was on 26, Pant was up far too early and didn’t rise with the ball. Something that he usually does whereas standing up to spinners.

“Lot of his problems are down to his footwork,” says Vishwanath, one among India’s stars within the mid-80’s. “Sometimes, he’s up too shortly. Sometimes he’s sluggish. As far as attainable, it’s good to rise with the ball. There is a nice line. You don’t need to jerk up, shoot up too shortly. You additionally don’t need to rise too slowly.

“Both those movements will affect your hands’ position. For the hands to be at the right place at the right time, footwork is important. Else, you can be grabbing at the ball. Or find it often hitting the edges of fingers/gloves and falling off. Or you are closing your hands too quickly as you try grabbing it.”

Sometimes, commentators discuss hard hands. Vishwanath, one of many key elements in India successful the 1985 World Championship of Cricket in Australia, agrees in regards to the significance of soppy hands however feels it’s additionally tied to the footwork. “The commentators usually focus a bit an excessive amount of on hands they usually is likely to be proper at occasions as delicate hands and a pure really feel for the ball are important. But on many events, I’ve felt Pant’s drawback to be together with his footwork. For ’preserving, the ft, the hands, the eyes have to be in sync. If the footwork is sluggish, you strive to make up for it by shifting too early, which isn’t good in wicketkeeping.

“With good footwork, you will have the confidence to rise with the ball. You won’t get up early or late. And with the footwork to move either side, you give yourself the best possible chance to your hands to be in the right place at the right time, and in the right way – as in you won’t go hard at the ball or be lunging for catches off o seamers or be out of position. The feet affect the hands.”


The second drop when Pucovski was on 32 wasn’t a regulation wicketkeeping probability. Pant had to react to a prime edge, flip shortly and run again, however there are different points that he has had with pacers previously. Like, his first motion.

“I have seen him wrong-footed. Moving to his left, when the ball’s line should have made him move right. That has made me sit up and notice. The ball might be outside off-stump, but his first move – a decent stride at that – is to his left. That certainly doesn’t help. I can’t say if that’s because he is a left-hander and has a natural preference there. That can only be ascertained after speaking to him and watching his videos a lot more closely. It could just be a wrong assessment of the line of the ball and where he thinks it’s heading. But yes, that’s an area he has to work on. His sideways movement also can be better to get closer to the ball so that he doesn’t have to lunge to gather the ball.”

The good factor is that Vishwanath believes Pant can enhance. “He seems to be a good talent, he is young, getting fitter and his ’keeping can improve. If he works hard, trains smartly, he can improve – by smartly, I mean the right drills tailored for his needs.”

A wicketkeeping workshop with Vishwanath won’t harm both. “Oh, I am ready to help anytime!”


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