Former India wicket-keeper, Parthiv Patel feels that Rishabh Pant can make a comeback into India’s limited-overs side but have to start performing in the domestic circuit.
Once touted as the future of Indian cricket and the successor of MS Dhoni, still, as flamboyant as the likes of Virender Sehwag and Yuvraj Singh, Rishabh Pant now isn’t even in the first-choice eleven in any format as KL Rahul has replaced him as the keeper in white-ball cricket for India.
In the recently concluded warm-up game against Australia A, Wriddhiman Saha was picked over the left-hander; the practice matches are always an indication of the plans of team India.
But Pant’s downfall has not been from completely his faults. He has, surely, been mismanaged by the management in the past couple of years. For someone who has amassed big runs in the IPL at a massive strike rate, it is inconceivable that Pant is no more in the white-ball plans, let alone assuring a place.
Pant was drafted into India’s white-ball team on his colossal IPL numbers- he was even called in as a replacement in the 2019 World Cup and played in the semi-final at number 4. Inconsistent opportunities, shuffling in batting position, and lack of clarity in his role; Pant could only provide flashes of his potential for the men in blue.
Pant has to score runs in domestic cricket to make a comeback: Parthiv Patel
Pant is, however, the only Indian wicket-keeper to score Test hundreds in England and Australia- which should be enough to speak about his talent and potential. Hence, Parthiv Patel feels that the youngster needs to improve on his fitness – in the IPL Pant was observed to have added some belly fat during the lockdown. The former wicket-keeper has boldly told Pant the nobody other than himself has to convert his talent and potential to performances.
Speaking to Sports Tak, Parthiv Patel said, “Talk about Rishabh Pant, lockdown happened, he put on a little weight. There is no question about his talent. Every time I meet him, I tell him that people are talking about you because you have a lot of talent. Now how do you convert that talent into performance, it is in your hands, it is not in anyone else’s hands. You have to convert talent into runs and good wicket keeping. I am sure he has understood that.”
The 35-year-old also suggested the Delhi Capitals’ keeper to improve his work with the gloves. He counselled the 23-year-old to go back to playing domestic cricket, and score huge runs there. Parthiv Patel, who recently announced his retirement, opines that even with stiff competition, Pant can make a comeback in the limited-overs setup.
“My experience says that you are never out of the Indian team’s fray. It is very important for the player to have a belief in himself. Pant will have to show in domestic cricket, by scoring runs and keeping wickets in every match. You have to show that I am ready for international cricket,” Parthiv Patel added.
The second warm-up game against Australia A begins on 11th December. After being left out in the first match, it is to be seen if Pant is picked for the second practice match, and whether he finds a place in the eleven in the Test series considering his exploits on the previous tour.