IND vs SL: The Real Reason Why Rishabh Pant Was Dropped
Late on Tuesday evening, the BCCI announced the two squads for the upcoming T20I and the following ODI series against Sri Lanka. The big talking points from these were the exclusion of Rishabh Pant from both the squads and of Shikhar Dhawan from the ODI squad.
While Dhawan’s form in ODIs has been dipping and Shubman Gill on the rise, the shock came as Pant was not named in the ODI squad - in what is also the year of the ODI World Cup - despite hitting a century in Manchester just 3 innings ago.
Yes, Pant hasn’t had the best of the times in T20Is for India, and was even dropped for Dinesh Karthik in the T20 World Cup. But dropping Pant from ODIs based on his T20I form is unfair; on the contrary, his Test form has been superb.
Rishabh Pant is not dropped, BCCI told him to work at NCA on fitness
The real reason, as reported by ESPNcricinfo, that Pant is not named in any of the two squads to face Sri Lanka is that the he’s been told by the BCCI to work on his fitness at the NCA in Bangalore and get totally fit for the important Border-Gavaskar Trophy series against Australia in February.
“Rishabh Pant has been sent to the NCA for strength and conditioning before the Test series against Australia. The team management feels he will have a key role to play in the Tests, and needs this housekeeping break after playing 44 internationals this year,” a report in ESPNcricinfo said.
After the Sri Lanka matches, India will also host New Zealand for 3 ODIs and 3 T20Is. This is where, if the team management is satisfied with his fitness improvement at the NCA, Pant can make a comeback.
In Pant's absence, Ishan Kishan is the designated wicket-keeper, with KL Rahul also in the ODI squad. Sanju Samson got place in the T20I squad but was dropped from the ODI squad.
Neither of Jasprit Bumrah or Ravindra Jadeja are named in any of the squads. Bumrah is even declared fit, but the selectors don't want to rush him back. The senior trio of Rohit, Rahul, and Kohli have been rested from the T20Is and will return for the ODI series.
India’s squad for Sri Lanka T20Is: Hardik Pandya (Captain), Ishan Kishan (wk), Ruturaj Gaikwad, Shubman Gill, Suryakumar Yadav (VC), Deepak Hooda, Rahul Tripathi, Sanju Samson, Washington Sundar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Axar Patel, Arshdeep Singh, Harshal Patel, Umran Malik, Shivam Mavi, Mukesh Kumar.
India’s squad for Sri Lanka ODIs: Rohit Sharma (Captain), Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul (wk), Ishan Kishan (wk), Hardik Pandya (VC), Washington Sundar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Axar Patel, Mohd. Shami, Mohd. Siraj, Umran Malik, Arshdeep Singh.