What is the reason for Rishabh Pant’s disastrous form?

Rishabh Pant achieved one of the biggest honors any cricketer could wish for. He was appointed as the captain of the Indian team for the T20 series against South Africa. The series was team India’s first assignment in preparation for the T20 World Cup in October.

The series ended with 2-2 as the final T20 got washed out due to rain. India won the last two games and made a valiant comeback after losing the first two games. The team played well in the absence of senior players like Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Suryakumar Yadav, and Jasprit Bumrah. However, many questions remain unanswered. Rishabh Pant’s form is surely the topmost of them.

Pant scored only 57 runs in four matches with an average of 14.25 with a poor strike rate of 107.5. He also had a quiet IPL with 340 runs in 14 matches with the highest score of merely 44. There are a few reasons both technically and mentally for his poor run.

Image Credits: Cricbuzz.com

Pant’s poor off-side play

Left-handed batsmen are typically known for their elegant strokeplay on the off-side. However, that has not been the case with Pant. The South African bowlers had a set plan to bowl a wide line outside the off-stump to Pant. The latter clearly fell into the trap as he was dismissed while playing an aerial shot on the off-side in all four matches.

The four dismissals included two by fast bowlers and two by spinners. This clearly goes to show his struggle while manufacturing shots on the off-side. Pant has played some gorgeous drives on the off-side in Tests against the likes of bowlers like Starc, Cummings, and Hazlewood. He has not been able to translate that into the shorter format of the game.

Pant is not learning from his mistakes

This has been the most concerning issue for Indian cricket team fans. Pant is committing the same errors again and again. Being dismissed in the same manner in all four matches shows that he is not learning from his mistakes.

Image Credits: TOI

The situation in which he has been dismissed has been a bigger area of a concern than his method of dismissal. There was no need for him to play those aerial shots in matches other than the first T20 when he got out in the last over. Pant’s inability to read the situation is an even bigger concern going ahead.

Has captaincy affected Pant’s performance

The pressure of captaincy is certainly a thing. Even great cricketers like Sachin Tendulkar had to quit captaincy due to a dip in their batting performance. Pant’s captaincy has been debatable since IPL 2022. He opted to not review a caught behind of MI’s Tim David when he edged one on his first ball in the second last game of IPL 2022. Pant decided to not go for the review when he had reviews intact. Tim David went on to score 34 runs off just 10 balls to eliminate Delhi Capitals from IPL 2022.

Image Credits: Cricaddictor.com

Some of his decisions from this series have been questionable as well. Pant decided to give only two overs to Yuzvendra Chahal in the first T20 game. Chahal was the purple cap holder in IPL 2022 and was expected to bowl his full quota of overs. South Africa went off to chase a mammoth score of 211 runs. Pant has also been criticized for coming ahead of Hardik Pandya who has played brilliantly in IPL 2022 at number four. It is possible that the captaincy pressure has taken a toll on his batting performance.

Concern for Pant going ahead

Pant is only 24 years old. However, that can’t always be an excuse after playing 48 T20Is, 30 Tests, 24 ODIs, and almost a hundred IPL games. He is extremely talented but he’ll have to iron out his weaknesses.  The current resurgence and overall experience of Dinesh Karthik could be taken into consideration and it might cost Pant his spot in the playing 11. Karthik is a wicket-keeper and can play as a finisher at number 6 as well.

What are your thoughts on Pant’s poor run? Do you feel Dinesh Karthik must be given a chance? Let us know in the comments below. Stay Tuned with The Sportsway for more updates.

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