Rishabh Pant’s omission from Team India’s limited-overs squads for the Australia tour has come as a surprise to many. He was considered as the rightful heir of MS Dhoni’s wicketkeeper slot after the legendary stumper went on a sabbatical. However, continuous failure from Pant and the rise of KL Rahul saw a sudden change in India’s plans.
Rahul established himself as a finisher and a wicketkeeper as well. This led to Pant’s exclusion from the playing XI during the New Zealand tour and now he has been excluded from the limited-overs squad itself. Virender Sehwag, the former Indian opener has now shared his thoughts on Pant’s omission. As per him, it was right on the team management’s part to not pick Pant and gave a reason for the same as well.
“It was not surprising that Pant was not included,” Sehwag said on Cricbuzz. “On the last tour, he was not part of the playing XI despite being fit. KL Rahul had performed well as a wicketkeeper and he was used as the regular wicketkeeper in the limited-overs series, and Rishabh Pant was kept out,” Sehwag stated.
“It might have been a way to send a message to Rishabh Pant that he needs to change his style of play. He would keep losing his wickets, and he doesn’t finish off games, and he needs to learn to finish games. If he does not do that, he would not be given chances,” he added.
We did not have a good keeper till MS Dhoni arrived: Virender Sehwag
Sehwag also compared the current wicketkeeping fiasco with the one of his time. He said that Rahul Dravid was also made a keeper as he used to provide an extra batting option. He further mentioned that Pant is not performing as per the expectations and he needs to finish the games on his own to ascertain his place in the side.
“During our time, Rahul Dravid was used as a wicketkeeper because we did not have a good keeper till MS Dhoni arrived. So, we used Dravid as a keeper because he would be used as an extra batsman in the team,” he said.
“But here Rishabh Pant is good keeper, but the way he gives away his wickets, (Virat) Kohli and Ravi Shastri might not be pleased with him. Only Rishabh Pant can make this change – he needs to finish off games in every opportunity he gets. He needs to prove that he can return to the Indian team,” he added.
Source: Cricket News – CricTracker