VVS Laxman believes that Rishabh Pant should exert more effort on his game.
Ever since Rishabh Pant played in Test cricket starting last year, he has developed and improved his game. The same cannot be said about his limited-overs career which has completely been out of shape despite him having many chances. Despite this, team India continues to support, but Pant still hasn’t been able to show his capabilities. One of the few areas that he struggles in is guarding his wicket.
In 12 ODIs and 23 T20Is, the 22-year-old has averages of 22.90 and 19.88 respectively, numbers which don’t quite justify his potential. His T20I strike-rate of 118.15 is much lower than his career strike-rate of 156.41. Recently, Sanju Samson has been creeping up on his position and has been picked to play in the T20I series against Bangladesh and the West Indies.
With this, VVS Laxman, a former Indian cricketer and commentator, feels that Pant should put in more work to improve or lose his place to Samson. He believes that Pant has been given enough time to improve.
‘The team management and the selection committee have passed on a strong message that we (have) got a backup in the form of Sanju Samson. Rishabh Pant has been given a lot of opportunities and I’m sure that they will be communicating and giving him that security within that group’, said Laxman in an interview.
Despite being harsh on Pant, Laxman understands that the left-handed batsman is an X-factor, meaning someone who can raise the team’s morale when performing really well. ‘But then ultimately the player has to justify the faith the team management and the selection committee has been imposing on him. Unfortunately, Rishabh hasn’t been able to do that, but he is that X factor. I still feel that he is an exclusive batsman who can come and change the course of the match just by his ability to hit good balls out of the park’.
‘As a batsman, there’s no clarity of thoughts, there’s no doubt that he’s under pressure, because how many times have you seen Rishabh Pant, when he is in full flow, play and he has a different mindset and technique against the spinners. I feel he will be under tremendous pressure to retain his place in the playing eleven’.
India will be facing the West Indies in a series of ODIs and T20s. To find out more about India’s upcoming matches, visit Betwala’s page.
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