Former India opener, Aakash Chopra feels that the IPL next year is the only hope for Rishabh Pant to make a comeback in the Indian team, in particular in limited-overs cricket. His comments came after Wriddhiman Saha was picked over Pant in the first warm-up game against Australia A.
Once assumed to be the successor of MS Dhoni, Rishabh Pant now finds himself out of the limited-overs squad. He wasn’t selected for a single game out of 8 white-ball matches in New Zealand and is replaced by KL Rahul. Later, he was dropped from the squad for the 6 matches against Australia.
However, he did play ahead of Saha in the two Tests in New Zealand. But since the Bengal wicket-keeper was given the nod in the practice game, it begs the question of whether will Pant make into the eleven in any of the 4 Test matches.
Pant has only gone as a tourist to Australia till now: Aakash Chopra
In a video uploaded on his YouTube channel, Aakash Chopra opined that India could have played both Pant and Saha in the warm-up game to give both an opportunity ahead of the Test series.
Aakash Chopra, the former opener pointed out that Pant wasn’t in the limited-overs squad and now wasn’t selected in the practice game. Hence he has been just a tourist till this point of the tour.
In his YouTube video, Aakash Chopra said, “Rishabh Pant is standing last in the queue and at the bottom of the list of Indian wicket-keepers at the moment. The Indian team had one option, when we had the India A vs Australia A match, they could have played six batsmen instead of five. You could have got Wriddhiman Saha to keep wickets but play Rishabh for sure.
“But now they have not played him there and he was not there in the ODI and T20I squad. So, he has only gone as a tourist to Australia till now. He has not done any work till now.”
The 43-year-old believes that sine Pant is the second-choice keeper in the Test squad, as it seems, he cannot go back to play domestic cricket and may not get a Test match to play.
He will have to wait for the next IPL: Aakash Chopra
Chopra feels that the only way the left-hander can get back in the national team reckoning is to have a big IPL season next year. The commentator maintains that Pant’s only hope to revive his limited-overs career is the IPL 2021.
“So, if the second keeper is Rishabh Pant, neither can he go to play domestic cricket nor is he going to play anything there. Now to make a comeback, he will have to wait for the next IPL.
“He will have to do very well in the IPL and establish his presence again. If that doesn’t happen, then it becomes a problem. In my opinion, it is only the IPL that can reignite that hope unless he gets a chance in this Test series,” Aakash Chopra stated.
The second practice match begins on 11th December, and six days later, the Test series begins in Adelaide with a day-night contest.