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"Would want Rishabh Pant to focus more on his batting than his batting position" - Ashish Nehra amid IND vs SA T20Is

Rishabh Pant has just three half-centuries in 40 T20I innings for India. (P.C.:BCCI)
Rishabh Pant has just three half-centuries in 40 T20I innings for India. (P.C.:BCCI)

Former Indian pacer Ashish Nehra feels stand-in Indian skipper Rishabh Pant is putting too much pressure on himself to perform in the ongoing T20I series against South Africa.

The southpaw has failed to make a significant contribution in the first three matches and has looked woefully out of form so far. Pant also didn't have the best of seasons in the Indian Premier League (IPL) this year and that might be psychologically playing a role.

Rishabh Pant. So brilliant in Tests. So bad in white-ball cricket. #INDvSA

Speaking to Cricbuzz, Ashish Nehra stressed that Rishabh Pant has enough experience to understand how he can get better in T20s. He said:

“If you look at the IPL this year, Ricky Ponting said that Rishabh Pant was very unhappy with his performances in the season. Now, Rishabh might only be 24, but he has been playing in the IPL for five years now. So, he is an experienced player now, at least in this format.”

Nehra also reckons that once the likes of Suryakumar Yadav and Virat Kohli return to the Indian team, Pant might not bat at No. 4 as he is doing right now. He feels the 24-year-old should focus on playing his natural game rather than focusing on how he should be more responsible in his current batting position. Nehra added:

“He’s playing at the No. 4 role in international cricket, and obviously, there will always be pressure on him because there’s a lot of competition. Suryakumar Yadav is there, Virat Kohli will also return in the future. That will happen. In this series, I would want Rishabh Pant to focus more on his batting than his batting position.”
The relief in the face of Rishabh Pant. https://t.co/FxpugwCsQ9


Senior players like Hardik Pandya, and even Rahul Dravid should help Rishabh Pant: Ashish Nehra

Despite Pant's recent struggles, Nehra believes the left-hander is just one big innings away from finding form. However, he feels the 24-year-old is taking a bit too much pressure due to the captaincy, which has affected his batting.

This is where Nehra reckons the role of the leadership group involving coach Rahul Dravid and vice-captain Hardik Pandya comes into play. He stated:

“It (the batting position) doesn’t make a big difference. How he captains, how much better can he perform.. he needs only one innings to get his mindset changed. It is important he doesn’t take too much pressure upon himself. Senior players like Hardik Pandya, and even Rahul Dravid should help him there.”

Pant will be keen to make a strong impact in the remaining two games as questions have begun to arise about his spot in the T20I team.

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Edited by Anantaajith Ra
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