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India vs South Africa 2023-2024

Former Indian all-rounder makes a big statement on Rishabh Pant’s T20I career

This former Indian all-rounder feels that Rishabh Pant needs to improve his numbers in the shortest format of the game in the international arena.

Rishabh Pant
Rishabh Pant (Image Source: Twitter)

India is currently playing against South Africa in a five-match T20I series at home. The hosts have decided to try out a few combinations in the series and treat it as a perfect preparatory ground for the upcoming 20-20 World Cup, scheduled later this year in Australia.

In absence of big names like Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, and Jasprit Bumrah, the selectors named KL Rahul as the captain of the Indian team for the series. But just ahead of the first match Rahul has to pull away from the series owing to a groin injury.

The recent evolution of Rishabh Pant as a batter for the national team prompted the selectors to name him as the acting captain for the series. But Pant has still not found his mojo in the series with the bat in hand. In the three matches that he has played, he has been able to score only 40 runs at an average of 13.33. This performance has earned him criticism from all corners.

His mode of dismissals has not impressed the experts of the game. Pant was particularly bashed after the second T20I. In the match he stepped out to Keshav Maharaj and failed to connect a widish delivery properly, giving away his wicket in the process. Meanwhile, the former Indian all-rounder, Irfan Pathan joined the line of critics of Rishabh Pant while taking to Twitter about the same. Pathan opined that Pant needs to improve his numbers in the shortest format of the game very soon. Pathak’s Tweet read – “Love Rishabh Pant as a cricketer but his t20 international numbers need to get better.”

The opinion is something that people familiar with Pant’s numbers in his career will resonate with. His T20I strike rate is 125.95, which is way less than his domestic and Indian T20 League strike rate of 146.12. Pant’s average of 32.46 in domestic cricket is also way better than his T20I average of 23.32.

Meanwhile, his captaincy in the series has also come under the scanner. The same was reminded by a user in a comment below Pathan’s tweet. But the former Indian player stood beside the southpaw in this respect. He feels that Pant will mature as a captain with time.

Notably, India won the third match of the series on June 14 to keep themselves alive in the series. The Men in Blue lost the first two matches and the comeback earned special praise from one and all.


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