The T20 World Cup is the next focus for the Indian team and Ravi Shastri and Virat Kohli want to kickstart the process of finding new talents and then giving them opportunities to establish themselves. However, as per the head coach, they are keeping a close eye on wicket-keeper batsman Rishabh Pant, for he has only flattered to deceive in the short career he has had so far.
Although, the coach has backed the young man's talent and pedigree, he now wants him to read situations accordingly and then play his strokes. Pant's temperament and his shot selection in the recent past has left a lot to be desired and this has been discussed in India's dressing room.
"When you see a shot like the one in Trinidad, off the first ball, [it's disappointing]," Shastri said in an interview to Star Sports, referring to Pant skipping down the track to Fabian Allen in India's third ODI against West Indies in the just-concluded tour.
'There will be rap on the knuckles'
"He tries to repeat it a couple of times and gets out, he will be told," Shastri said.
The head coach never really minces his words and hence, he drove home the point that if this continues to be the case in the future, the concerned player will be told. Shastri further added that for all the players, the interests of the team should always rank above individual goals.
"There will be a rap on the knuckles there - talent or no talent - because you are letting the team down, forget letting yourself down. You are letting the team down in a situation where you have the captain at the other end [Kohli was at the crease when Pant got out with India needing 164 off 22.3 overs]. You have a target to chase where the need of the hour is some sensible cricket," he further added.
The head coach explained that there will be no attempts to tweak or change the way Pant played his game, but then, he needed to be more aware of game situations and understand crucial scenarios before he attempts his strokes.
"No one will change his style but match awareness becomes crucial, shot selection becomes crucial in particular situations," Shastri explained. "If he can fathom that out, he could be unstoppable. You mentioned how many games [it would take], it could be one game, it could be four games. I don't see more than that."
Shastri went on to say that he was confident the young man will learn the craft as he had played enough IPL games to understand and decipher game situations.
"He will learn. He has played enough IPL cricket. So it's time now for him to step on to the stage and just show the world how devastating he is."