Rishabh Pant is many things – a dynamic batter, a wicket keeper with the same star, captain, mood maker, record breaker, maverick etc. Whenever he is hitting, holding wicket or just there, he is the cashier. Add to that his funny and witty one-liners as he stands behind the stumps and makes suggestions to bowlers, Pant is a solid entertainer. However, one of the most unique features of Pant, the athlete who tends to go unnoticed, is his athletic prowess. Pant is highly acrobatic, something first noticed by India’s former strength and conditioning coach Shankar Basu.
“I remember seeing Rishabh in Sri Lanka. He came to the Nidahas Trophy and before that in the West Indies. In the Nidahas Trophy I remember telling him you know you are an extraordinary gymnast. Please call your gymnastics coach and thank him for what are you doing now He was like ‘What?’ He was confused He can do a kip-up, frontflip, backflip. You must have seen it on television. And he has because of that, that explosive ability,” Basu told YouTuber Ranveer Allahbadia on his YouTube channel BeerBiceps.
Pant was famous during the India vs England Test series at home in the first half of last year. Basu thinks that gymnastics can play a big role in the development of an athlete. In fact, as an example of how a former Indian cricketer and his son are benefiting even now, the former Indian gymnastics coaching staff may well be responsible for separating Pant from the rest of his colleagues.
“I think he did a lot of gymnastics in his early years. The same goes for Sridharan Sriram’s son. He wanted to start training. I said ‘Sriram, put him in gymnastics’, and apparently he plays very well now. Playing gymnastics a big part in developing as an athlete. Not all of them will get the chance to do that, but if you can do that from a young age, there’s nothing fun about it,” he said.
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