Team India suffered two defeats against Pakistan and Sri Lanka in the Super 4 stage of the ongoing Asia Cup. With these losses, India’s chances of progressing to the final of the multi-nation event are all but over.
Many fans are perplexed at the lacklustre performance of Rohit Sharma and Co. Several pundits are blaming wicketkeeper-batter Rishabh Pant for India’s early exit from Asia Cup. Many experts believe that Pant is the future star of Indian cricket across the three formats. Some think that Pant has been given ample opportunities to prove his worth and selectors should now look beyond him in T20Is.
However, former Pakistan leg-spinner Danish Kaneria also weighed in on the debate over Rishabh Pant. While speaking on his YouTube channel, Kaneria opined that Indian selectors should look at Sanju Samson as a viable alternative to Pant in the T20I format. Kaneria pointed out the fact that Pant has been given more than enough chances and the Indian management must now back Samson. The wily leg-spinner also mentioned that India cannot persist with Dinesh Karthik for too long.
“The number of chances Rishabh Pant has been given to prove himself, Sanju Samson did not get as many opportunities. I think that Sanju Samson is a better choice in T20 cricket. Pant is a better player in Test and ODI cricket. Samson can become a vital player for India in T20Is. For how long can Dinesh Karthik carry on? There is a T20 World Cup coming up, so India must look to the future,” Kaneria was quoted as saying.
While Pant has earned his stripes in Test Cricket, the same cannot be said about his performance in T20Is. The 24-year-old has an ordinary batting average of 23.4 in 57 T20I matches. Moreover, his strike rate is only 126.4. In the crucial Super 4 encounters against Pakistan and Sri Lanka, Rishabh Pant looked completely out of touch.
The Delhi Capitals skipper showed poor game awareness during clutch moments. Especially his reckless shot selection in the high-voltage Super 4 encounter against Pakistan has enraged the fans. When the team needed him the most, Pant was out for 14, while attempting a reverse sweep against leg-spinner Shadab Khan. It remains to be seen for how long the Indian team management will back Rishabh Pant in the shortest format of the game.