The Indian cricket team may have registered a clean sweep of 3-0 against New Zealand in the recently concluded T20I series but there are still many issues that need to be dealt with. Kiwi legend Daniel Vettori was not at all impressed with the performance of Indian wicket-keeper batsman Rishabh Pant and he felt that Pant needs to do more in order to justify his spot in India’s playing XI.
In an interview with ESPN Cricinfo, the former Kiwi skipper said that Pant hasn’t understood his role in the team and is yet to get his tempo right in the shortest format of the game. He said:
“He hasn’t got his tempo right in T20 cricket. He hasn’t quite understood his role, particularly in this series. Sometimes he is overly cautious, then he is reckless. It doesn’t feel like there is a flow to his game. When you see great T20 batters batting well, it is all about flow and momentum and you just feel a rhythm to it. He hasn’t quite got that yet.”
Well, Rishabh Pant has been in poor form with the bat lately. He could only score 4 runs in the 3rd T20I match at the Eden Gardens, Kolkata. Earlier, he registered scores of 17* and 12* in the first two T20Is in Jaipur and Ranchi, respectively.
Vettori also warned Rishabh Pant of getting replaced if he doesn’t find the right tempo. He spoke about how Ishan Kishan and KL Rahul could easily replace him behind the wickets. He said:
“I will be surprised if they (team management) don’t talk long and hard about what they expect from him. But, the onus is on Pant to find that right tempo. The reality is, if he doesn’t, they can look elsewhere. They have Ishan Kishan and KL can keep wickets as well in T20. They will give Pant the opportunity to find his rhythm, knowing that they can change pretty quick as well.”
Daniel Vettori isn’t the first cricketer to criticize the poor form of Rishabh Pant. Earlier this month, former Pakistani cricketer Inzamam-ul-Haw, speaking on a video on his YouTube channel, criticized the performance of Rishabh and expressed how he had a lot of expectations from the young lad. He had said:
“I had a lot of expectations from Rishabh Pant. The way he has performed in the last two years, I rated him highly. I saw him play in Australia, then against England when they toured India earlier this year.”
“The conditions he played in. I thought that he was like Dhoni, when the top order fails, he makes up for it at the bottom. I felt that Pant is that sort of player. But during the World Cup, he didn’t live up to my expectations,” Inzamam concluded.