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Kohli does not want to pressurise Pant

Last updated on: August 07, 2019 14:58 IST

'He's come a long way since he's started.  It's about winning and finishing games like these. In international cricket you need to tackle pressure differently. If he plays like this regularly, we will see his potential shine for India'

Rishabh Pant

IMAGE: Rishabh Pant hits out during his 50-run stand with captain Virat Kohli in the 3rd T20I against West Indies on Tuesday. Photograph: BCCI

Skipper Virat Kohli doesn't want to put undue pressure on young Rishabh Pant, who needs to be given space to display his full potential.

The 21-year-old, who is already on his way to becoming Mahendra Singh Dhoni's successor, was widely criticised for his shot selection in the first two matches but came up trumps in the third T20 International against West Indies on Tuesday, with a cracking 65 not out off 42 balls.

 

"We are looking at him (Pant) as the future. He has got a lot of skill and a lot of talent. It is about giving him some space and not putting too much of pressure," the skipper made his intentions clear.

Pant has been around for a couple of years now and Kohli feels that he will soon start finishing games more consistently.

"He's come a long way since he's started.  It's about winning and finishing games like these. In international cricket you need to tackle pressure differently. If he plays like this regularly, we will see his potential shine for India," Kohli said.

"For the first two games, he was really disappointed as he didn't get any runs. Sometimes you don't have the rub of the green but today he made sure that he applied himself and backed his skills, hit the big shots when required.

"He played with the tempo of the innings, the tempo of what was required. I am really looking forward to seeing more performances from him like this. He has got the tremendous talent we all know. It is all about getting into his zone and doing this more often for the team," the skipper stated.

The Indian captain was also all praise for seamer, Depak Chahar, who got 3 for 4 in his first spell to set the ball rolling for India.

"Deepak is similar to Bhuvi. With the new ball, Deepak's skill is up there with Bhuvi. Bhuvi however has more experience at the death. Swing has been his (Deepak’s) USP in the IPL too. He is really lethal with the new ball -- batsmen in real trouble," the skipper said.

Following the 3-0 clean sweep in the T20Is, Kohli wants the team to carry the momentum into the ODI series.

"It was a clinical performance. We wanted to try out players but the priority was to win games. Deepak was great, Bhuvi professional as always. The wicket over here was much better than the one in Miami. West Indies got to a decent total because of the wicket, but we were professional with both ball and bat," the skipper added.

The Indian captain dubbed the Windies ODI side as a stronger outfit and would want his side to maintain consistency.

"We want to be as professional as possible in the ODIs and Tests. We want results, to win games of cricket. The Windies ODI team is even stronger, so it will be hard work, but we will try to have fun as a team for a month."

India had exited the recent ODI World Cup after losing in the semi-final to New Zealand and Kohli said the next one in 2023 is too far right now to think about and instead his team's aim is to be the one of most consistent sides in the world.

"It's too far to think about 2023 right now. For us, the priority always has been to be one of the most consistent sides in the world. I think in the last 3-4 years we have been able to achieve that.

"We are the number two side in the world and there is a good reason for that. We have been going to number one as well sometime," he said.

"You really start planning for the World Cup and looking forward to it 12 months to go and not four years away. The priority is to keep Indian cricket at the top.

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