'He has got to do a bit of work on his 'keeping and he will also become a better batsman.'
Former Australia captain Ricky Ponting praised young wicket-keeper-batsman Rishabh Pant, so much so that he called him 'another Adam Gilchrist' after the Indian's blistering 159 in the fourth Test.
"He is a real talent and an incredibly good ball striker. He has got a really good game sense as well. I have been lucky enough to coach him at Delhi," said Ponting who worked with the Indian during his stint with the Delhi franchise in the Indian Premier League.
"He has got to do a bit of work on his 'keeping and he will also become a better batsman. We talk about him in the commentary box and he is sort of like another Adam Gilchrist," Ponting told cricket.com.au.
Gilchrist, the legendary Australian wicket-keeper batsman, played 96 Tests, scoring 5,570 runs at an average of 47.6. He also represented his country in 287 ODIs, amassing 9,619 runs at 35.89.
On Friday, January 4, Pant became the only Indian wicket-keeper to score a century on Australian soil when he smashed an unbeaten 159 and shared a 204 run stand with Ravindra Jadeja as the visitors declared their first innings on a mammoth 622/7.
The 21 year old also surpassed Mahendra Singh Dhoni's 13-year-old record of highest individual Test score by an Indian wicket-keeper. The then skipper had scored 148 runs against Pakistan in 2006.
Ponting believes Pant will score more Test centuries than Dhoni. "We talk about M S Dhoni all the time and his impact on Indian cricket. He played a lot of Tests for India but made only six Test hundreds. This kid will make a lot more Test hundreds than that," Ponting said.
"He has already scored his second Test ton and a couple of 90s to go with it. Look, he is someone who could play a lot of Test cricket for India across formats. Pant is only 21 and is already into his ninth Test."
Gilchrist also praised Pant for pacing his innings well. "He played a beautiful innings," Gilchrist told Fox Sports.
"We probably all expected him to bat aggressively from ball one, but he showed he can build an inning and then by the end of it allowed himself to play with all the freedom that we know he has got."
"It was entertaining. He is a cricketer that I would happily pay to watch," Gilchrist said.
"He is a cricketer that is at the start of his journey so he'll learn these particular parts of the game and he'll learn that there's always more time than what you think, but he's got a great foundation to be a successful Test cricketer," the legendary Aussie 'keeper-batsman said.
Though he shone with the bat, Pant's 'keeping wasn't always up to the mark as he dropped Usman Khawaja off Mohammed Shami late on the second day.
Pant, Gilchrist said, will become a reliable 'keeper as he learns from his mistakes.
"Although he's missed a few opportunities with the gloves, he's certainly held onto more than he's spilt," Gilchrist said. "If he's prepared to work on his game, I'm sure he'll develop and become a really reliable 'keeper."