While there is little doubt over Rishabh Pant’s talent, his displays in the final two One-Day Internationals against Australia have more or less showed that he is still not completely ready to replace MS Dhoni. The team-management had rested veteran MS Dhoni for the two games, thus giving Pant a chance to all but secure his World Cup. However, the youngster failed to live up to the expectation, faring poorly behind the stumps.
In the 44th over of the Australian innings in the fourth game, Pant missed a straight forward stumping chance to dismiss Ashton Turner on 38. Turner went on to play a match-winning knock of 84 from just 43 balls and help Australia level the 5-match series at 2-2.
He also missed several other chances as the fans in the stadium made their displeasure clear shouting ‘Dhoni, Dhoni…’. Australia had gone on to chase down 358 to draw level in the five-match series.
Pant did little in the fifth ODI to make amends for his poor show in the previous game. He scored just 16 with the bat while his wicketkeeping left a lot to be desired. The poor performances have surely put the pressure him and he has now admitted that the World Cup spot will be at the back of his mind when he represents Delhi Capitals in the upcoming season of Indian Premier League.
“It will always be at the back of my mind,” Pant told Cricketnext. “But right now, I am not focusing on that. I am too focused on the IPL and wanting to make my team win.”
“See, as a player I want to keep improving every day. I’ve seen a few areas in my game where I need to work on and I’ve talked about my game to Mahi bhai about that. But as a player, you need to keep improving, every match, every day,” he added.
Pant had a sensational outing in the last season of the IPL. While his team struggled to do well once again, he smashed 684 runs at an average of 52.61. The southpaw is now looking forward to another good season.
“At this level, the pressure will always be there. Pressure in international cricket is different (to the IPL), I know that but yes pressure will be there and I want to perform and make my team win,” he said.