A full-strength Team India arrived in Bangladesh on Thursday for a bilateral series comprising 3 ODIs and a couple of Test matches. The seniors, who were after the conclusion of the T20 World Cup 2022, will return to action while eyes will also be on wicketkeeper-batter Rishabh Pant who had a tough time in New Zealand.
Pant was named the vice-captain of the youngster-laden Indian side, but he couldn’t live up to the team’s expectations. He scored 25 runs in two games, averaging just 12.5. Moreover, it’s been an underwhelming year for the Delhi youngster in white-ball cricket. He is a proven match-winner in the longest format of the game but despite getting backed constantly, he hasn’t been consistent in terms of scoring runs.
Former India opener Aakash Chopra feels that if Pant doesn’t get back on track in the Bangladesh ODIs then he might find himself out of the team in the upcoming fixtures at home in January 2023.
“Rishabh was the vice-captain on the New Zealand tour, but he won’t be in that role in Bangladesh. Ishan Kishan is also there in the mix. But the team may look at KL Rahul as a keeper-batter as Shikhar Dhawan is also there in the squad.
“But Pant continues to be the talking point. His ODI numbers are better than T20Is. He got the opportunity twice and had the time to spend in the middle, but he couldn’t utilise it properly,” Chopra said on his YouTube channel.
“I think, he’s on thin ice. It’s a tightrope walk for him. And if he doesn’t perform in the Bangladesh ODIs, it might happen that the team’s vice-captain for the New Zealand tour may not find a spot in the squad for the upcoming fixtures at home. So, all in all, he couldn’t capitalise on the chance he got in New Zealand and now, the way ahead won’t be easy for him,” he added.