Star Indian wicketkeeper-batter Rishabh Pant has played a total of 62 T20Is for India till now, but he is still struggling to seal his spot in the Indian team. He featured in only one match against Australia last month, and that too because it was curtailed due to rain and India opted to play an extra batter. And then in the South Africa series, Pant got the nod because Hardik Pandya wasn’t there in the team. But he didn’t get a chance to bat in the first two matches, and in the third he was asked to open, which is certainly a new position for him to bat at the highest level.
Even though Pant has played as an opener for Delhi and India U-19 sides in his early days, he has only opened in four games in total for India. After he got out on 27 from 14 balls against South Africa in Indore during third T20I, former Indian all-rounder Ajay Jadeja lists the reason why Pant has not been able to deliver goods in the shortest format for Men in Blue.
“Because the Indian team has moved on to role-playing acts, and he’s not fitted into any role, that’s where he has lost out. DK played a fabulous knock. With that role-play that he is doing, it works. If he wasn’t in that role-play business and was batting at No. 4 like in the early part of his career, then, 46 on this surface, how can you throw it away?”
“He’s got a mate in DK to learn from. He can ask him, ‘listen, what do I need to do? Is there something I am missing out on? You’ve gone through this. Show me the way.’ No matter how big a fan I am, how long will you persist with him? There is no dearth of talent, and it is just this format. So, it is something that he has to figure out,” Jadeja added.