Rishabh Pant, the 21-year-old batsman, is currently India's go-to wicket-keeper and number four batsman. Often touted as MS Dhoni's successor, Pant has big shoes to fill as his batting needs to be consistent for him to maintain a place in the playing XI. Pant's career in limited-overs cricket has been subject to a lot of criticism as the explosive left-hander has not been able to contribute much to the Indian team. Expert opinions on his batting style have been mixed so far.
Rishabh Pant in his last 10 T20 innings has scored a paltry 149 runs at an average of 18.625. His highest score has been 65 and is definitely not reflective of the talent he has. By contrast, Rishabh's highest score in the IPL is 128* which he made against the formidable bowling lineup of Sunrisers Hyderabad as a 20-year-old in 2018. His ODI stats have not been too impressive either, as the wicket-keeper/batsman has only scored 229 runs in his 10 ODI innings with his highest score being 48.
India's coach, Ravi Shastri, recently said that Pant's careless shot selection would be penalised and his talent would not bar him from being reprimanded. Gautam Gambhir came out in Pant's support and said that more people need to make Pant feel 'wanted' in the team. Gauti implied that it was mostly about Pant's mindset and that was something that needed to be fostered. Chief Selector MSK Prasad commented that there is some patience needed as Rishabh Pant develops into India's primary wicket-keeper/batsman.
It is being pointed out that Rishabh Pant replacing a legend like MS Dhoni may be creating a lot of pressure on the 21-year-old's mind. His shot selection and alleged irresponsibility has been criticised by experts and fans alike. Fans criticised Pant for getting out irresponsibly in the 2019 Cricket World Cup semi-final that India lost to New Zealand. VVS Laxman commented that Pant should maybe drop himself down the order to ease the pressure on himself. VVS supported his statement by saying that Pant is an aggressive batsman by nature and maybe number four is not allowing him to express himself the way he would want to. The tactics Virat Kohli and Ravi Shastri use with Pant will now be revealed when India host Bangladesh in the T20 series in November.