‘During Nidahas Trophy, I remember telling Rishabh Pant… He was like ‘What?” | Cricket

Rishabh Pant is many things – a dynamic batter, an equally star wicketkeeper, captain, mood-lifter, record-breaker, maverick etc. Whenever he is batting, keeping wicket or simply there, he is box office. Add to that his funny and witty one-liners while standing behind the stumps and offering suggestions to bowlers, Pant is a thorough entertainer. However, among all these, one of the most unique features about Pant the athlete that tends to go unnoticed is his athletic prowess. Pant is highly acrobatic, one that was first noticed by former India strength and conditioning coach Shankar Basu.

“I remember seeing Rishabh in Sri Lanka. He came to the Nidahas Trophy and before in the West Indies. In the Nidahas Trophy, I remember telling him that you know you’re an extraordinary gymnast. Please call your gymnastics coach and thank him for what you are doing now. He was like ‘What?’. He was flummoxed. He can do a kip-up, front flip, backflip. You must have seen it in television. And he has got that explosive ability because of that, Basu told YouTuber Ranveer Allahbadia on his YouTube channel BeerBiceps.

Pant famously did a kip up during the India vs England Test series at home during the first half of last year. Basu reckons gymnastics can play a huge role in the development of an athlete. In fact, citing an example of how a former India cricketer and his son are benefitting from it even now, the former member of India’s coaching staff gymnastics could well be responsible behind separating Pant from the rest of his peers.

“I think he has done a lot of gymnastics in his formative years. Same thing with Sridharan Sriram’s son. He wanted to start training. I said ‘Sriram, put him in gymnastics’, and apparently, he is playing very well now. Gymnastics play a major role in the development as an athlete. Not all of them will get the opportunity to do that, but if you are able to from a very young age, nothing like it,” he mentioned.

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