Expressing concerns over Rishabh Pant’s form in T20I cricket, former India opener Wasim Jaffer has said that the wicketkeeper-batter has not been able to replicate his Tests’ success in the shortest format of the game and the left-hander is not a certainty in the Indian side going forward.
The 24-year old Pant is leading India in the ongoing 5-match T20I series against South Africa. He was named the captain after KL Rahul, who was initially picked as the skipper, was ruled out of the series due to a groin injury.
The left-handed batter had a decent IPL 2022 campaign with Delhi Capitals wherein he scored 340 runs in 14 matches but he has been struggling to get going in the ongoing T20I series, having managed just 34 runs in 3 matches.
The more concerning thing about Pant is the way he is throwing his wickets away more than once and Jaffer feels that the attacking batter might not be able to retain his place when KL Rahul returns to the side and also mentioned about the presence of Dinesh Karthik in the scheme of things.
“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,” Jaffer told ESPNcricinfo.
“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,” he added.
Injured Rahul is set to miss India’s tour of England as well, whereas Dinesh Karthik has been named as the wicketkeeper for the T20I series in Ireland in the last week of June and the side also have Ishan Kishan. India also have Sanju Samson waiting in the wings as the Rajasthan Royals captain has found his way back to the side for the T20I series against Ireland after leading his side to IPL 2022 final.
Pant’s form in T20I cricket has been far from impressive and in stark contrast to his numbers in Tests. While the wicketkeeper-batter has established himself as a mainstay in the longest format of the game with some match-winning knocks, he has not been at his best in the T20I cricket. The batter has managed just 723 runs in 46 T20Is at a paltry average of 23.32, with only three fifties.