New Zealand vs India 2020 - Virender Sehwag disappointed with Rishabh Pant's exclusion
Former Indian opener Virender Sehwag has expressed his disappointment at team India’s decision to leave out Rishabh Pant from the playing XI during the ongoing T20I series against New Zealand. He has also raised question marks on the Virat Kohli’s communication process with the young players.
Despite being part of the Indian squad for the ongoing T20I series, Pant has warmed the benches in all the 5 matches so far. Ever since getting hit on the head by a Pat Cummins bouncer during the opening ODI against Australia in January, Pant has been on the sidelines as KL Rahul filled the wicket-keeping slot to perfection. Not only he has scored very consistently, but he has also looked pretty settled behind the stumps as well.
Since MS Dhoni’s indefinite sabbatical from limited-overs cricket, Rishabh Pant was given a long run in the shorter formats. However, he didn’t manage to seize the opportunity and was criticised time and again for giving away his wickets cheaply. However, Virender Sehwag feels that it is important for a captain to back a young player.
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In an interview with Cricbuzz, Virender Sehwag said,
"Rishabh Pant has been left out, how will he score runs? If you bench Sachin Tendulkar also, he won't be able to score runs. If you feel he is a match-winner, why don't you play him? Because he is not consistent?" Sehwag questioned.
"During our time, captain used to go and talk with the player (in question). Now I don't know if Virat Kohli does the same or not. I am not part of the team setup. But people say that when Rohit Sharma went to Asia Cup as captain, he used to talk to all the players," Sehwag added.
Referring to the CB series in 2012, Sehwag stated that even MS Dhoni had not communicated properly with his teammates. In that particular tri-series, Dhoni hd opted for a rotation policy of the top 3 of India’s batting line-up which included the likes of Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir and Sachin Tendulkar.
"When MS Dhoni said in Australia that top three are slow fielders, we were never asked or consulted. We got to know from the media. He said at the press conference but not at the team meeting that we are slow fielders," Sehwag said.
"Talk at the team meeting was that we need to play Rohit Sharma who is new and that's why there will be a rotation policy. If the same is happening now, that's wrong," he added.Published 02 Feb 2020, 14:49 IST