Former Australian opener Matthew Hayden has opined that Rishabh Pant is the future of the Indian team and has backed him to come good in the long run. Pant was excluded from the playing XI for the first T20I against Australia and Dinesh Karthik was preferred ahead of him. This had created a lot of mixed opinions from the pundits as Pant hasn’t lived up to his potential yet in the T20I format.
In T20Is, Rishabh Pant has amassed 311 runs in 17 games this year at an average of 25.91 but consistency has been an issue for the 24-year-old. Adding to his woes, the southpaw has been getting dismissed on various kinds of deliveries in recent times and he managed just 51 runs in three innings in the recent Asia Cup 2022.
Matthew Hayden mentioned that Rishabh Pant would be on the Indian team if he was the selector and hailed him as the future of the Indian team. He felt that the southpaw should be backed even if he fails to score and added that the wicket-keeper batter is superior in every aspect.
Matthew Hayden said, “Rishabh Pant would be picked in every side if I was the selector. He is just the future. He needs to be backed and needs time. Even if it’s through runs or form, he should be there in my opinion. He is a superior player in pretty much every way and aspect.”
Meanwhile, India suffered a loss in the opening T20I against Australia by four wickets and it was the bowling department that proved to be a great disappointment for the Rohit Sharma-led side. The likes of Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Harshal Patel conceded a lot in the death overs and the target of 209 was chased down with four balls to spare.
The second T20I is scheduled to take place on September 23 at the Vidarbha Cricket Stadium in Nagpur and it remains to be seen if Pant makes it to the playing XI.