Ajinkya Rahane believes that Rishabh Pant has to accept that he is going through a tough phase in his career at the moment and should try and improve himself as much as he can, while struggling fo a place in India's playing XI.
Rahane, who is the vice-captain of the Indian Test team, insists that Pant must take the team management’s decision in his stride and move forward with a positive frame of mind.
Rahane told the reporters ahead of the first Test match against New Zealand,
“It’s important to accept whatever you are going through. Be positive, try and learn as many things as possible from any of the players. No one likes to sit outside but whatever your team needs on a particular game, you have got to accept that."
Pant has been left out of India's playing XI despite decent performances in Tests and ODIs. He was India’s no.1 wicket-keeper ahead of the West Indies tour last year, after averaging 92 with the bat against West Indies at home and 58 against Australia away.
However, he couldn’t shine in a couple of Test matches on the West Indies tour after the World Cup last year and lost his place to Wriddhiman Saha.
The Indian team management, however, had made it clear that Saha was preferred ahead of Pant because of his superior glove-work and not because of Pant’s failures with the bat.
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Pant was, thereafter, dropped from the ODI XI as well after missing a game against Australia due to concussion.
The left-hander had averaged close to 40 with the bat in the previous ODI series against West Indies, but the Indian team management decided to assign the wicket-keeping duties to KL Rahul and play an extra batsman ahead of Pant.
Pant is currently a part of the Indian squad in all three formats of the game, but has been consistently warming the bench.
The 22-year old didn’t get a single playing opportunity in New Zealand recently, despite both the T20I and ODI series being decided with a few games in hand.
India tried out the fringe players in the dead rubbers, but Pant was not included in the playing XI and he watched the entire T20I and ODI series from the sidelines.Published 20 Feb 2020, 11:22 IST