Zaheer Khan believes that even if Rishabh Pant performs well in IPL 2024, he may not be in contention for India’s squad in the upcoming T20 World Cup this year.
Rishabh Pant, who sustained severe injuries in a car accident in December 2022, is set to return to action and participate in IPL 2024. However, it remains uncertain whether he will resume wicketkeeping duties for the Delhi Capitals.
Zaheer Khan Made A Bold Remark On Rishabh Pant’s Selection For T20I World Cup 2024
During a discussion on Colors Cineplex, Zaheer Khan was questioned about Rishabh Pant’s potential inclusion in India’s T20 World Cup squad if he performs well in the upcoming IPL. Zaheer said:
“If you see Rishabh Pant’s journey, the turn he has gone through is not easy for any player. Firstly, everyone who is attached to cricket will be happy once he comes back on the field. He has a lot of hurdles to cross.”
He added: “Firstly, he has to come back and play. It’s not easy at this level. You need to get used to it and get the rhythm back. Those things might take time. It’s great if it doesn’t. However, keeping all things in mind, even if he has a very good IPL, I don’t think the team will be thinking in that direction.”
Further, Zaheer Khan emphasized that the preparations and planning for major tournaments like the T20 World Cup are carried out well in advance.
Former Indian cricketer Pragyan Ojha also suggested that KL Rahul and Jitesh Sharma are the top contenders for the wicketkeeping positions. He said:
“Based on what I am seeing, I feel it will be KL Rahul and Jitesh Sharma. Rishabh Pant’s name will always be taken because of the impact he has made. However, it needs to be seen how he proves his fitness.”
Pragyan Ojha further mentioned that Rishabh Pant does not appear to be a viable option at the moment. He said:
“You need to be a little realistic. You have to keep your emotions aside at times. It needs to be seen where he actually is, and how he proves himself in the first four or five matches of the IPL, fitness-wise and not skill-wise. If we talk about the present situation, I feel KL Rahul and Jitesh Sharma are making a strong claim.”