3 reasons why Rishabh Pant should replace MS Dhoni in the ODI team
The 2019 World Cup in England is only a few months away. The probable Indian ODI team for this mega event has been the talk of the town for quite some time.
Most of the spots in the playing XI are already sealed. Players like Virat Kohli, Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah, Kuldeep Yadav, Hardik Pandya, and Bhuvneshwar Kumar are almost guaranteed a place in the playing XI if they are fit.
But for the other spots in the team, there is still fierce competition. The most vulnerable part of the Indian ODI team has been their middle order, in recent times. At present, Ambati Rayadu, Dinesh Karthik, MS Dhoni, Kedar Yadav, and Manish Pandey are the pool of players from which the 3 middle order batsmen in the playing XI are chosen.
However, none of them have been consistent enough to seal their spot in the playing XI. As a result, the biggest headache for the team management at present is to fix their middle order as soon as possible.
Another slot for which there is fierce competition is the wicket-keeper's slot. In the recent past, MS Dhoni has been the obvious choice for the wicket-keeper's slot in the playing XI. He has not only been India's greatest ever wicket-keeper batsman, but also one of the greatest wicket keeper batsmen in the history of ODI cricket.
However, Dhoni's recent slump in form and the emergence of Rishabh Pant have put forth a new debate - who should be India's first choice wicket-keeper in ODIs?
Although the team management is still backing the experienced Dhoni, Pant is putting forward a strong case for himself with each passing day.
Pant has been the talk of the town ever since he announced his arrival in the Ranji Trophy scene. After his excellent performances in the Test series in England, against West Indies at home and in Australia, he has proved that he is ready to rule the big stage across all formats.
In this article, we look at 3 reasons why many experts feel that the time has come for Rishabh Pant to replace the MS Dhoni as the first choice wicket-keeper batsman for the Indian ODI Team.
#3 Dhoni is not getting any younger
If recent batting form is any indicator, MS Dhoni seems to be well past his prime. Moreover since he plays only international matches and no domestic cricket nowadays, it often appears as if he is not match ready. The 37-year old plays only white-ball cricket and hence can go long stretches without international assignments.
On the other hand, Pant is only 21 years old and his career is on the rise. He has now firmly established himself as India's premier wicket-keeper batsman in Tests. In T20Is as well, the left-hander has done well in the opportunities he has got so far. So it is high time that he is given regular chances in the ODI lineup too.