The first India vs Australia ODI in Mumbai had Indian wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant getting hit on his helmet by a Pat Cummins bouncer while he batted in the first innings. As a result, Pant sustained a concussion and had to sit out of the second ODI at Rajkot. As the Indian team arrived at Bengaluru for the series-deciding ODI, Pant was fit but the 22-year-old was still snubbed as KL Rahul kept wickets and Manish Pandey played in the line-up as a specialist batsman.
Former Australia batsman Michael Slater was commentating on the match as India and Australia took on each other at Bengaluru. Drifting onto the topic of Pant's absence, Slater said that he was disappointed at the fact that Pant was not picked in the playing XI even after being ready to go. He termed the decision as 'unfair' and 'illogical' and went on to state that if Pant had not suffered a concussion, he would have gone on to play all the 3 ODIs.
Slater re-emphasised his point by saying that even if Rishabh Pant's replacement (KL Rahul) kept well in his place, it made no sense to take away Pant's place from the playing XI. Last week, after MS Dhoni was not handed a central contract for 2020 by the BCCI, Pant received more attention than ever as it was very clear that he was the BCCI's sole focus as the future of Indian wicketkeeping.
India made a very unlikely comeback after the thrashing they received at the hands of the Australians in Mumbai. The Men in Blue convincingly tied the series at Rajkot and put forth a very dominant show with the bat in Bengaluru as they won yet another ODI series against a formidable Australian squad.