MSK Prasad names likely replacements for Pant
Rishabh Pant’s poor-shot selection has been the most-talked subject in and out of the Indian dressing room. Just a day after he got dismissed again by playing a loose shot during the 2nd T20I against South Africa, chief selector MSK Prasad decided to take a right step for the welfare of Indian cricket.
He had opened up that the selectors are grooming potential players who could be effectively used as a backup wicketkeeper-batsman for under pressure Pant. However, MSK Prasad made it clear that Pant will continue to be the first-choice until a right replacement is found, said the national chairman of selectors.
“We are monitoring the workload of Rishabh. Of course, we have been grooming backups across all formats. We have the young KS Bharath doing well in the longer format for India A. We also have Ishan Kishan and Sanju Samson doing well in the shorter formats for India ‘A’ and domestic cricket,” Prasad said.
Though Pant hasn’t impressed anyone yet, the chairman of selectors made it very clear that he still believes in Pant’s immense potential.
“I have already said that post World Cup we have been concentrating on the progress of Rishabh. We need to be patient with him, considering the immense talent that he possesses,” the chief selector MSK Prasad added.
“I think he is a phenomenal player. There is no doubt about that. But what he needs to do is to sort his game plan. He needs to be more disciplined and all the young players like him need to understand that there is a fine line between fearless cricket and careless cricket,” India’s newly appointed batting coach Rathour had said.
“What the team management is asking from them is to be fearless. About having a clear game plan and playing with intent. Focus should be batting to your strength and at the same time, one cannot be careless. I am sure they have started to understand that,” Rathour further added.
During the second T20I against South Africa in Mohali, when the left-hander Rishabh Pant was promoted ahead of Shreyas Iyer, India’s score read 94/2 after 11.4 overs, chasing 150 for victory. The required rate was below seven and it was easy to chase as Virat Kohli was donning the colours at the other end.
However, Pant failed to capitalise the situation properly and he got out soon after playing a rash shot, still an area which Pant has to work on. Shreyas Iyer came out and scored a match-winning boundary to help India go 1-0 in the series.
Even in the World Cup semifinal against New Zealand at Old Trafford, Pant got out playing a loose shot which was not required at all. In 19 T20Is, the left-handed batsman score only four 30-plus scores and maybe this is the reason why the selectors asked Dhoni to not retire before the 2020 T20 World Cup.
However, the team management will hope that Pant gets groomed for the next big ICC tournament.