Indian wicket-keeper/batsman Rishabh Pant is currently being criticized for his recent performances in the test cricket series against England. His last few innings have been very unmemorable, scoring a total of just 87 runs across his last 4 innings, including scores of 2 and 1 in his last 2 innings.
For a team with very few batsmen, just 6 in total for this series, Pant’s form is under serious question as Team India needs a batsman whom it can rely on, and with Pant’s current form in test matches, that’s just not what it wants at the moment.
Not to be forgotten, Pant is one of the most talented players for Team India today. The 23-year-old’s career has practically just begun, and with practice, he has shown that he can perform on the same level as others on the international stage. Expectations from Pant are very high as well, with the team looking to make Pant the permanent wicket-keeper after MS Dhoni retired from international cricket.
Many players have commented on Pant’s recent performances including Pakistan’s Salman Butt who said “Pant cannot become a successful test batsman playing this way”. Although these were some heavy words from Butt, how much of his statement is true?
The expectations from Rishabh Pant are certainly higher than that of other young stars, but that’s because people have an idea of his true potential. He is India’s next big player and his skills ultimately earned him a spot in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019, where he was Team India’s youngest player.
Butt’s statement may be true to some extent, as he said that Pant needs to “develop some patience and work on his defensive technique”. Earlier this year, Pant was a huge asset to Team India against England, where he scored his first century in India.
According to Butt, Pant finds it hard to adjust to the pitches in England as compared to the pitches in India and Australia as the ball does not swing a lot in these countries the way it does in England. Pant finds it difficult to track the ball wherever it spins or seams. “Rishabh Pant will find it very difficult to tackle the challenges with the kind of technique he currently possesses” Butt added.
Butt and several others expect Pant to entirely change his approach to test cricket as Pant needs to be more patient and less aggressive.
Pant may not be the best player right now, but with more experience, we can expect him to get better. With advice from so many top players, we know that Pant does have to live up to a lot of expectations.
His greatest success comes in an entirely different format, the T-20’s, where he currently is was the captain of Team Delhi Capitals in the first half of 2021 and led his team to the top of the points table. With several notable moments in the IPL including a score of 128* and an 18-ball 50 in the tournament, Pant has shown that he can live up to those expectations.
Fellow Indian cricketer Dinesh Karthik said that Pant does not need to make drastic changes to his technique as “he is a match-winner and will come good”. He said, “Pant knows how to deal with these conditions”. He believes that with time Pant will prove his worth.