Indian wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant has been having a tough time in the past couple of weeks. He was struck on the head and was concussed because of which he was left out of the Indian cricket team in the recent Australia series at home. But in a surprising turn of events, the southpaw wasn't included in the side for the final ODI in that series despite regaining full fitness. It was KL Rahul who replaced him behind the stumps and did well too.
In the first T20I against New Zealand in Auckland, he was again left out of the team. KL Rahul once again made the most of the opportunity and performed much above expectations. It will be extremely difficult for Rishabh Pant to make a come back now.
As Rishabh Pant tries to win back his place in the playing 11, India head coach Ravi Shastri has made it clear that it won’t be easy for him. Shastri has said that Pant would have to work really hard on his wicketkeeping to brighten up his chances of playing again.
While speaking to a leading media network, Ravi Shastri added that Rishabh Pant was not a natural keeper but his talent would not go to waste if he worked on his keeping skills. Shastri has communicated the same to Pant, who is expected to be on the sidelines for a long period of time, with KL Rahul taking his place all of a sudden.
While speaking with the reporters, Virat Kohli praised KL Rahul’s all-round abilities by describing him as a “total team man”. He added that Rahul accepts any kind of role for the team and said that it’s wonderful to have someone who can bring balance to the side. Even though Rishabh Pant is fully recovered from his injury, Virat Kohli said that they will have KL Rahul behind the stumps for some more time. This could mean that Pant might have to spend more time on the sidelines as India is set to play more white-ball cricket in 2020.