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"Does he actually deserve a place in T20s?" - Aakash Chopra on Rishabh Pant's underwhelming performances

New Zealand v India - 2nd T20
Rishabh Pant was dismissed cheaply in both his innings in the T20I series against New Zealand.

Aakash Chopra has questioned whether Rishabh Pant merits a place in India's T20I side or if the selectors and team management are trying to get him to deliver as an opener.

Pant scored just 11 runs off five deliveries in the third T20I against New Zealand in Napier on Tuesday, November 22, and threw away his wicket by playing an ungainly shot. He was dismissed similarly in the second game as well after having contributed just six runs.

While reviewing the Indian batters' performances in a video shared on his YouTube channel, Chopra had the following to say about Pant:

"Rishabh Pant - two very ordinary outings. The same question came once again - Is he an opener or do you want to make him one? Does he actually deserve a place in T20s or you don't want such a huge talent to go waste, so you are making him open because of that."
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Chopra added that Pant, who is India's vice-captain for the tour, has not sealed a batting spot for himself thus far. The former Indian batter elaborated:

"You have made him the vice-captain of this team, so he should always be a part of the team, but if he is there, where should he bat? The big question in the Indian selectors and team management's minds is how to get the best out of Rishabh."
I wonder what kind of player Rishabh Pant wants to be in T20!cricket. Especially, as an opener. If he wants to slog at the top, he will sell his rare skills short.

Pant has aggregated 987 runs at a below-par average of 22.43 and a slightly underwhelming strike rate of 126.37 in the 66 T20Is he has played. He has managed just 71 runs at a dismal average of 14.20 in the five games he has opened for the Men in Blue.


"He is getting troubled by bouncers" - Aakash Chopra on Ishan Kishan

Ishan Kishan was struck a blow on his shoulder by a short ball from Adam Milne.
Ishan Kishan was struck a blow on his shoulder by a short ball from Adam Milne.

Chopra pointed out that Ishan Kishan wasn't at his aggressive best and was in a spot of bother against short-pitched bowling. He explained:

"When you see Ishan Kishan's two innings, you feel he is aggressive and will play like that only, but how aggressive is he, because he was not that aggressive in the first match. In the second match also when he was hit by one or two bouncers, it seemed he wanted to hit every ball. He is getting troubled by bouncers."

Chopra highlighted that Shreyas Iyer's frailties against short-pitched bowling were also exposed once again. The renowned commentator stated:

"Shreyas Iyer got out fending or hit-wicket while pre-empting a bouncer. The question is there - if you have to bat at No. 3 or No. 4, bouncers are going to be bowled. So what will happen if bouncers are bowled? So the one, two and four did not convince me."

Iyer trodded onto the stumps as he went too far back while trying to play a Lockie Ferguson delivery on the leg side in the second T20I. He was dismissed for a golden duck in Tuesday's game, fending a Tim Southee delivery to Jimmy Neesham at first slip.

Poll : Should Rishabh Pant be dropped from India's T20I side?

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Edited by Sai Krishna
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