ICC World Cup 2019: Can Rishabh Pant still make it to the Indian squad?
Pant has been sparkling on the global stage ever since the 2016 U19 World Cup. He made his T20I debut in February 2017 vs England, and has Test centuries in England and Australia already.
Currently, Pant is playing for the Delhi Capitals in IPL 2019 where his performance so far has been outstanding. His match-winning knock of 49 off 21 balls last night helped Delhi Capitals progress to Qualifier 2, where they will take on against MS Dhoni's CSK. This is the first time in the history of the IPL that Delhi have registered a win at the playoff stage.
Before we talk about Pant's chances of getting into the World Cup squad, let's take a look at some of his amazing stats.
Pant has played a total of nine Test matches where he has scored 696 runs at an average of 49.71, with two hundreds and two fifties.
Highest score: 159*
Catches / stumpings: 40 / 2
Pant has only played 5 ODIs so far where he has scored 93 runs at an average of 23.25, with no fifties or hundreds.
Highest score: 36
Catches / stumpings: 5 / 0
Pant has played a total of 15 T20Is where he has scored 233 runs at an average of 19.41 with one half-century.
Highest score: 58
Catches / stumpings: 3 / 0
IPL 2019 performance
Having played 15 matches so far, Pant has already put on 450 runs on the board with a stunning strike rate of 162.95, accompanied by three fifties.
Highest score: 78*
Catches / stumpings: 18 / 6
Such impressive figures will make anyone wonder why Pant is not in the World Cup squad. India are all set to play their opening World Cup match on June 5, and Pant along with Ambati Rayudu are the designated standby batsmen for the event.
However, Kedar Jadhav recently picked up an injury and there's a chance he may not play in England. In that case, one of Pant or Rayudu may be called up as a replacement.
India can still make changes to the squad until 22 May, and Jadhav is facing race against time to prove his fitness for the event. If he can't recover in time, that may prove to be a blessing in disguise for Pant and Rayudu.
But who will the selectors give preference to between these two players? Rayudu has had a poor IPL, but his international limited overs record is far better than Pant's. And the selectors have already stated in the past that IPL performance wouldn't be considered for World Cup selection.
It might be touch-and-go as far as Pant's World Cup selection is concerned. But his fans would be hoping that he does get the nod ahead of Rayudu, because he brings an x-factor to any team he is a part of.
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