The Pant Dilemma...
Every Indian fan knew it is very difficult to find a replacement for MS Dhoni. But as they say, every good thing has to come to an end, it was no different for MS. And when everybody was in search for the next wicket-keeper, then this young swashbuckling left- hander from Delhi raised many eyebrows with his free-flowing and carefree cricket. Many made comparisons to how young MS was at the start of his career. The young man we are talking about needs is jersey no. 77 Rishabh Pant.
In IPL 2018 Pant scored 684 runs in 14 matches at an average of 52 and a mind-boggling strike rate of 173, everyone was hoping to see the same figures in the international arena. But lately, that has not been the case. Pant has come under the scanner for a string of poor scores. We at Sportzian try to decode what has gone wrong with the Delhi lad.
Consider ODI’s Pant has only 1 fifty in 14 innings to his name and he batted from positions 4 to 6. Pant’s job description was not always was to come to smash and hit, there were chances from him to build the innings and carry the momentum. He was able to hang in there for some time but when it was time to up the ante Pant has perished trying to put the foot down. The same scenario has been in T20I’s. this is where MS has been exceptional over the years to build the innings and accelerate at the right moment. The other most worrying thing about Rishabh pants batting is the dot percentage which stands at 53.7% of total ball faced. This says that pant has to work on his strike rotating skills which are as important as hitting fours and sixes!
But Pant has been a different batsman when it comes to the longer format of the game. He has averaged around 44.4 in 18 innings with 2 centuries to his name. When you compare 2019 stats of Saha and pant, Saha scored 74 runs in 4 innings whereas pant scored 217 in the same amount of innings. But, in recent times pant has lost the place to Saha owing to his poor wicket-keeping skills. What would have happened if the Indian management has gone with Pant for homes tests? Do you think it would have instilled confidence in the youngster?
But, BCCI has made its stance clear by awarding a Grade A contract to Pant. Now it is up to Pant to live up to his reputation.