Shikhar Dhawan praises stumper Pant ahead of T20I series

Wellington: Showering praise on young stumper Rishabh Pant, India opener Shikhar Dhawan on Tuesday termed Pant as ‘an asset’ for the team.

Pant who wasn’t part of the India ODI squad that hammered New Zealand 4-1 recently, returns to the side for the T20I series, starting here on Wednesday.

Speaking on the eve of the first match, Dhawan said: “He is an aggressive batsman, an asset for the team, can take away games from the opposition in a very short time. I hope he grabs this opportunity (in T20s) with both hands.”

Dhawan also said it was important to end the tour on a high as the men-in-blue will then try to carry the winning momentum into the limited over series against Australia, starting in Visakhapatnam on February 24.

“I do tennis ball drills mostly for bouncers, for my muscle memory as well. I feel, if I keep hitting the same shot, I get better at it.”

“When facing bowlers or throwdowns, it is not possible to feed the ball in one place all times. Thus, tennis ball practice comes in handy,” the opener said on his tennis ball practicing.

“But after you go back to facing the leather ball, it feels someone is throwing stones at you. Today while we were doing the tennis ball drill, we were also doing it to counter swing,” Dhawan said.

Dhawan who plays fiercely during power plays said: “It is a change of mindset (more aggressive in power play) and also depends on the wicket. If I get a lot of shots and it goes in my favour.”