Rishabh Pant has been underwhelming with the bat and it has been a cause for concern and a major talking point among the cricket fans, experts and even the Indian team management.
There have been some strong statements in the media regarding Pant’s dismal show in the limited-overs game from the likes of head coach Ravi Shastri and batting coach Vikram Rathour.
On the sidelines of an event in New Delhi, former Indian cricketer Yuvraj Singh said while he does not want to add to the criticism that Pant had been getting of late, “somebody really needs to talk to him”.
Yuvraj also said that one should refrain from comparing Pant with MS Dhoni. “MS Dhoni was not made in a day. It took a few years so it will take a few years for a replacement also. There is one year to go for the T20 World Cup so that is still a long time,” he said.
“How they get the best out of Pant is completely based on his character. You have to understand his psychology and then work with that. If you are going to suppress him, you won’t get the best out of him.
“Yes, he has been given a number of chances but how do you get the best out of him. The people monitoring him in the team – the coaches, the captain – can make a lot of difference,” added Yuvraj.
Ahead of India’s second T20I match against South Africa, Shastri had warned the 21-year-old of a “rap on his knuckles” if he continued to play rash shots and Rathour echoed his sentiments, saying the youngster should play “fearless cricket but not careless cricket”.
Rathour, who recently took over the charge from Sanjay Bangar, appreciated Pant’s attacking mindset but also advised him “to bring a little discipline into his game”.
Pant scored a total of 69 runs in the three-match T20I series against the West Indies with a high score of 65 not out. He failed miserably in the ODI series, scoring 20 runs in two innings at a strike rate of 55.55.
During the Test series, Pant didn’t fare any better, scoring just 58 runs in three innings at a dismal average of 19.33.
In the T20I series against South Africa at home, Pant’s struggle with the bat continued. The young wicketkeeper-batsman again failed to make his mark, managing only 23 runs in two matches.