Rishabh Pant just cannot relax at the moment. The youngster is firmly under the scanner and is facing non-stop criticism from the last couple of months. Things have not really gone his way post the World Cup. Seen by many as the successor of the legendary MS Dhoni, Rishabh Pant has just not managed to deliver consistent performances.
His poor shot selection has come under the scanner in recent times after the tour of West Indies. And the way he has kept the wickets in the ongoing series against Bangladesh, the pressure has only increased on him. During the second T20I in Rajkot, he looked far from being convincing behind the stumps. Rishabh Pant botched up a stumping of Liton Das with the third umpire ruling that his hands were slightly in front of the stumps, when he dislodged the bails.
He has been facing heavy criticism since then with many even demanding that Dhoni be recalled. However, India’s stand-in captain Rohit Sharma has leapt to the defence of the youngster, urging critics to “leave him alone”.
“You know there is a lot of talk happening about Rishabh Pant every day, every minute. I just feel that he needs to be allowed to do what he wants to do on the field. I would request everyone to keep their eyes away from Rishabh Pant for a while,” Rohit said on the eve of the final T20I.
“He is a fearless cricketer and we (team management) want him to have that freedom. And if you guys take your eyes off him for sometime, it will allow him to perform even better,” added Rohit.
Rohit, who himself dealt with heavy criticism at the start of his career, further pointed out just how harsh the critics have been with Pant, saying:
“He is a young guy, 22, trying to make his mark in international cricket. Every move he makes on the field, people start talking about him. It is not fair. I think we should allow him to play his cricket which actually he also wants to do.”
India, meanwhile, will be looking to finish the series on a winning note on Sunday in Nagpur. After losing the series-opener, the hosts bounced back in the second to win it by eight wickets. The momentum is now with India and they would be looking to make the most of it.