Rishabh Pant fails again! Will India continue to back him?
Rishabh Pant recorded yet another failure in the ongoing New Zealand tour as he could only manage a 16-ball 10 in the third and final ODI of the series. The wicketkeeper-batter has not been making the most of his chances lately and the same has earned him massive criticism. His inconsistency in white-ball cricket has indeed been an area of concern.
Why does this story matter?
- Pant arrived at number four in the Christchurch ODI after the openers departed cheaply.
- He opened his account with a four and gathered one more boundary.
- Pant fell to part-time off-spin bowling of Daryl Mitchell.
- While Pant didn't bat in the second ODI which got abandoned, he scored 15 in the opener.
- 6 and 11 were his scores in the T20I series.
How Pant has fared in ODIs this year?
In 10 ODI innings in 2022, Pant has scored 336 runs at 37.33. While his strike rate reads 96.55, the tally includes two fifties and a ton. Though these numbers look pretty decent, he was dismissed under 20 seven times. The tally also includes two ducks. It shows Pant's knack for scoring big once in a while, which aren't great signs for Team India.
Pant struggling in T20s as well
Pant has been facing the same issue in T20Is as well and due to the same, Dinesh Karthik got the nod ahead of him in the XI. The former played 25 T20Is this year, scoring 364 runs at 21.41 (50s: 1). While the 25-year-old was dismissed under 10 seven times in this period, he could only breach the 30-run mark thrice.
Has Pant been keeping his spot due to wicket-keeping abilities?
Pant has indeed become India's first-choice wicket-keeper across formats. While he has delivered the required results in Test matches, the same can't be said for white-ball cricket. There has been a lot of inconsistent selection in India's XI lately. However, Pant has been getting regular chances by the virtue of being a wicket-keeper. The same has been a hot topic of discussion lately.
Does Pant really belong to the middle order?
We often see Pant throwing away his wicket with a rash shot. The same suggests that the southpaw is struggling to deal with the required approach. A middle-order batter needs to be flexible in white-ball cricket. If the top order delivers, the middle-order batters are needed to score quickly. However, they need to anchor the innings in the top-order batters fail.
Can opening be an option for Rishabh Pant?
Many believe Pant can bring out his best while opening. Though he has occasionally batted at the top in Indian colors, the southpaw hasn't returned with substantial scores. However, he hasn't received a long run at the top. Notably, Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, and Shubman Gill are India's existing options for the opening slot in ODI cricket.
What are the other options?
If the team management decides to move on from Pant in white-ball cricket, Sanju Samson is the front-runner to grab the keeper spot. The dasher, who scored 36 in the series opener, has been a prolific performer in the Indian Premier League (IPL). He has also played some decent knocks for India. However, he is yet to get that 'long rope'!