Former India opener, Wasim Jaffer reckons that Rishabh Pant has failed to replicate his success like Tests in the shortest format of the game. Jaffer went on to say that Pant can’t be termed as a certainty in the Indian T20I side. Jaffer’s comments come even as Rishabh Pant is leading India in the ongoing 5-match T20I series against South Africa at home. Pant was named the captain after KL Rahul, who was initially named the skipper, was ruled out of the series due to a groin injury.
Pant’s form in the shortest format of the game hasn’t been impressive. While he has established himself as a mainstay in Test cricket with some consistent match-winning knocks, including the Gabba special from 2021, he has not been at his best in the T20I cricket. Rishabh Pant had a decent IPL 2022 campaign with Delhi Capitals wherein he scored 340 runs in 14 matches but he has thrown his wickets away more than once as South African bowlers have smartly stayed away from his hitting arc.
Explaining the same during a recent chat with ESPNCricinfo, Wasim Jaffer said, “You’ve got KL Rahul. Once he comes back, he walks into the side. He’s a wicketkeeper as well. If Dinesh Karthik is certain to play, then again, he is also a wicketkeeper. So, I am not too sure. The way Rishabh Pant has played recently, I won’t call him a certainty.”
He further added, “I think he still needs to score runs and score them pretty consistently. He hasn’t done that in the IPL. He hasn’t done it in many T20Is. I’ve said that many times – the way he has played in Test cricket, the way he has played in quite a few ODI innings as well, he hasn’t done that in T20Is. So, I won’t say that Rishabh Pant is a certainty for me (in T20Is) going forward.”
KL Rahul will be missing India’s tour of England as well, whereas Dinesh Karthik has been named as the wicket-keeper for the T20I series in Ireland in the last week of June. India also has Sanju Samson waiting in the wings as the Rajasthan Royals (RR) captain has found his way back to the side for the T20I series against Ireland.
Rishabh Pant has been a prolific run-getter in Tests but he has only managed to score 723 runs in 46 T20Is at a paltry average of fewer than 24 runs per innings. Pant has hit only 3 fifties in his T20I career that needs a big boost.