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R Sridhar on mentoring Rishabh Pant during his early days in international cricket

Former India first-class cricketer and former India fielding coach R Sridhar has spoken up about the time he was in charge of training Rishabh Pant for international cricket, and how it was a “horror” at first.

R Sridhar wrote the book “Coaching Beyond – My Days with the Indian Cricket Team.” It is a kind of autobiography in which he writes about his time with the Indian team as a professional fielding coach, the highs and lows he experienced during his career with the squad, as well as some extremely intriguing insights and hilarious tales for readers.

“There were certain suggestions he was hesitant to accept. He trusted the game that had taken him to this point. “His intransigence drove me insane at times,” the 52-year-old said in his book, recalling the early days of teaching the 25-year-old.

Sridhar noted in his book that Pant was an exceptionally obstinate youngster who refused to absorb any new ideas from him, and it was almost hard to persuade Pant to respect his rules while meeting the expectations of international standards. Sridhar claimed that he felt like unleashing his rage at times, but he quickly realised that doing so would be counterproductive, and it was up to him to persuade Pant to do things the right way, which he finally accomplished.

“But, being angry or furious was not going to assist anybody. “I needed to find a method to convince Rishabh to try new things, if only to see whether those adjustments might be good to his retention,” he continued.

Sridhar went on to say that one innovative tactic he used to get the left-handed wicketkeeper-batter to obey his orders was to serve him some “tough-love,” referring to the fact that he would give Pant the silent treatment at times, which would entice the youngster and coax Sridhar to give him feedback, which Sridhar found amusing.

We spent a lot of time together at practise, frequently just him and myself, and I thought it was time for some tough love. I stopped making advice and ignored his perplexed glances when the ball broke through his hands or he fumbled with his collection. Rishabh is a quick thinker, so he realised something wasn’t quite right immediately away. After a time, he approached me and remarked, ‘Sir, you’re not saying anything.

Kindly advise me on what to do. ‘Maybe you should lead with your brain rather than your hands,’ I murmured, smiling internally. He did just that, satisfied that he had gotten me to break my quiet. “When the head led the way, the body followed, and he was more confident in catching the ball,” he observed.