Fans have been furious with Indian coach Rahul Dravid’s comments on Rishabh Pant’s chances of taking part in the T20 World Cup in Australia later this year. The 24-year-old who captained the Men in Blue in the recently concluded T20I series against South Africa looked thoroughly uncomfortable with the bat in all five home matches. Due to his poor batting performance, Rishabh Pant was heavily criticized by both fans and former cricketers. Some of India’s cricketing legends including Sunil Gavaskar, Zaheer Khan and Irfan Pathan have even questioned his place in India’s T20I team. Irfan Pathan has gone so far as to claim his non-inclusion in the national team for the T20 World Cup Down Under. But Rahul Dravid backed Rishabh Pant to deliver the goods for India and said there was no threat to his place in the team.
“In the process (of playing an offensive game) he can go wrong in a few games, but he remains an integral part of our batting team with the power he has, and the fact that he is left-handed is important for us. in the middle he played good shots,” Rahul Dravid said on Sunday.
“Personally, he would have liked to score a few more points but that does not concern him. He is certainly a very big part of our plans for the next few months, ”added the former batsman who has more than 13,000 Tests under his belt. .
Rahul Dravid, however, has drawn ire from Indian fans for expressing his support for Rishabh Pant as they believe having the southpaw in India’s squad for the T20 World Cup does not bode well. .
“That’s why India won’t win the world cup. We need more fit players in T20 and in good shape. Well suited pants in test or ODI, not T20. World Cup is not something something you play to develop players is something you play to win. We need a coach who knows how to win,” one fan tweeted.
“But he has to start playing like a mature cricketer now, he’s played a lot of games now, enough cake for him in the white ball, Rutu looks like he’s not ready for the international stage, I don’t saw only one performance of him playing for India,” another wrote on the microblogging platform.
“23 Avg 124 SR after 47 games, which amounts to 17 Avg. 110 SR if we remove WI. Unreal support… only if other players had the same privilege,” said a third.
— Saket Kumar (@CricketF4) June 19, 2022
It’s time to have Sanju Samson because in the long run had enough of Pant he is pathetic in T20i
— Roshmi ➐ (@CricCrazyRoshmi) June 20, 2022
Looks like we won’t even reach the semi-finals. Disastrous to keep him on the team.
— Sanu (@sanu_sense) June 20, 2022
On the other hand, former Indian pacer Ashish Nehra has suggested that Rishabh Pant might miss the flight to Australia because his T20I form is not as good as other wicket-keepers in the team.
“From day one we knew he (Pant) was going to be popular. He came on day one and then was dropped as he was initially falling apart. Then he came back and made a name for himself. I’m sure he will be disappointed with the kind of T20 numbers he had.
“The question this person asked was ‘can the Indian team play T20 cricket without Pant? Yes why not. The T20 World Cup is very far away. There is no stamp that says Pant will surely play the T20 World Cup. He can also hurt himself. But there are many games in between. We will have ten T20Is and then the Asian Cup,” Ashish Nehra said on Cricbuzz.
“One good thing about Pant is that he plays all three formats. Others only play T20I, and if they don’t do well in those limited occasions, they will be in trouble. You have Ishan Kishan , Sanju Samson. You also have Dinesh Karthik,” Nehra added.
Meanwhile, former India fast bowler Irfan Pathan and former India batting coach Sanjay Bangar have urged the national team management to try Rishabh Pant as an opener.
“We’ve been talking about offside (problem) for a long time now. But when does this happen? When the field opens. Can we use Rishabh Pant in the power play where the bowlers cannot give enough width? Yes, there will be challenge because the ball will swing early, but then Rishabh Pant is a quality hitter. He scored nearly 3,500 international runs in his short career. So I’m thinking in that direction. It may not be now, but it may be in the future,” said Irfan Pathan.
“I’ve been thinking about it for 3 years. If you look at Sachin Tendulkar’s career, he reached his first century in his 75th or 76th innings when he was asked to open the innings against New Zealand after beating largely in the middle order. At the moment, the Indian team is considering a left-right combination. Yes, Ishan Kishan is doing well at the moment, but if the Indian team is considering a long-term left-right opening pair, Rishabh Pant can do the same job someone like Adam Gilchrist did for Australia” , Sanjay Bangar told Star Sports. .