Mumbai: Batting coach Vikram Rathour, it seems, is tired of answering questions on young batsman Rishabh Pant's roller-coaster journey at every media interaction.
The 22-year-old Roorkee-born Pant, who is the team's first-choice white-ball wicket-keeper, has so far played 15 ODIs, and scored only 346 runs.
He made 71 in the first ODI against West Indies in Chennai last December and followed it up with a quickfire 39 in Visakhapatnam.
"Rishabh Pant, I think we have spoken a lot about him and every press-conference I do, I face a question about him. He's a good player. Everybody agrees on that," Rathour said on Sunday.
"He's working hard on his fitness. He's played some useful innings lately. He's practising hard, so hoping he comes good, becomes more consistent," Rathour added.
Rathour also lauded pacer Shardul Thakur for his batting skills, saying he gives an option in the lower middle order.
Thakur played match-winning cameos in the series-deciding ODI versus West Indies at Cuttack and third and final T20I against Sri Lanka in Pune.
"It's all his good work (and) I'm not doing anything. He's somebody who can bat, all of us knew that. In the last couple of games, he got the opportunity to show what he can do. So he gives you a great option in the lower middle order," said Rathour.
India played six different batsmen at the No 3 position in the last six T20I games.
On being asked if the experimentation would continue in ODIs, he said, "We did that in T20s, because we were willing to give them some game time. So against Australia in the first game, we'll start with our best XI. And I think everyone will bat according to tried order. And as the series goes, we'll see if we can experiment and try something different."
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In the 21st century, there have only been 20 instances of a visiting batsman playing more than 350 balls in a Test in Australia. The only man to have done so thrice is Cheteshwar Pujara. The games in question? Adelaide 2018, Sydney 2019, Sydney 2021 – a series-opening win, a series-clinching draw, and now this. That is impact.
Reserve wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha replaced Rishabh Pant as per ICC rules with him being taken for scans.
Thakur snared seven wickets and was India's top scorer in the first innings, striking 67 while batting at No 8. He, along with Washington Sundar, pulled the team out of trouble by conjuring a crucial 123-run stand. The partnership eventually played a key role in the team's three-wicket win.