Former Indian fast bowler Ashish Nehra has lashed out at the team management for not handling Rishabh Pant properly. With KL Rahul performing well after being given the wicket-keeping gloves, he has been preferred as the first choice keeper of the limited overs side.
Pant was hit on the head by a bumper from Pat Cummins in an ODI in January. Subsequently, Rahul was given the gloves and he hasn’t looked back since then. Thus, Rahul has made it difficult for Pant to get back into the white ball side.
Meanwhile, Rishabh Pant hasn’t been able to grab his opportunities in the limited overs side. The white ball versions are expected to be Pant’s forte but he hasn’t yet done justice to the talent he possesses. The combative southpaw batsman has scored 374 runs in 16 ODIs at an average of 26.71 whereas he has scored 410 runs in 27 T20Is at an average of 20.5.
However, Pant had a good start to his Test career as the left-hander scored centuries in arduous conditions in England and Australia. Pant was preferred over Wriddhiman Saha in the two Test matches against New Zealand but he could only muster 60 runs in four innings.
Ashish Nehra believes the youngsters in the side should be backed for the longer duration so that they can deliver the goods for the side.
“There are a lot of talented players but they should be backed for a longer duration. Today also when we talk about the number 5 and 6 slots in Indian ODI side, then we are not sure about it. KL Rahul is playing on the 5th position and Pant, the person you were preparing to succeed MS Dhoni, is serving water.
“I know he has missed his chances and there is no doubt about it but then you have kept him in the team because you saw the potential in him at 22-23 years,” Nehra said while talking to Aakash Chopra on Akashvani.
There is no doubt that Rishabh Pant has the skills and the talent to go a long way in his career. However, the left-hander might need to work on his shot selection. It is well known that there is nothing like ‘natural game’ in International cricket and one has to play according to the match situations.
Pant has thus far not been able to do that successfully however it should also be noted that he has just started in his career and he is expected to get better with experience. Hence, Pant will like to keep improving his skills and turn the corner when he next plays for the Indian team.