T20 World Cup 2021: “Rishabh Pant has become predictable” - Salman Butt explains why teams are anticipating the southpaw's moves

Rishabh Pant batting during IPL 2021. Pic: IPLT20.COM
Rishabh Pant batting during IPL 2021. Pic: IPLT20.COM
Renin Wilben Albert

Former Pakistan captain Salman Butt feels Team India’s wicketkeeper-batter Rishabh Pant has become a bit predictable with his moves at the crease. Butt pointed out that opponents have realized it’s only a matter of time before Pant dances down the track during his innings.

Pant had a poor Test series in England, where his footwork against the moving ball was exposed. Even in the second half of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021, he did not look in great rhythm. Although he scored a decent number of runs while leading Delhi Capitals (DC), he wasn’t his usual aggressive self.

In an interaction on his YouTube channel, Butt was asked if Pant could be a force for India at the T20 World Cup 2021. The former cricketer stated that the southpaw needed to build on his talent. Explaining what, he felt, the 24-year-old was doing wrong, Butt opined:

“He is very moody. Out of nowhere, he steps down and tries to hit out. And, he does this so frequently that other teams have started anticipating his moves. I think Rishabh Pant has become a little predictable. He will need to bat with a more mature mindset. He is so talented and has such a high range of strokes. But teams are aware that he will charge down the track either first ball or after 2-3 deliveries. So he needs to work on that.”
The one with our DC Tigers after a season to remember 🐯💙#YehHaiNayiDilli #IPL2021 #WeRoarTogether

Pant ended IPL 2021 with 419 runs in 16 matches at a strike rate of 128.52 with three half-centuries.

“It ended in heartbreak” - Rishabh Pant’s emotional tweet after DC’s IPL 2021 exit

Incredibly proud of the effort Team DC has put in. We ROAR Together 💙…

Pant-led DC topped the points table after the IPL 2021 league stage. However, they failed to make the final, going down to Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in Qualifier 1 and Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in Qualifier 2.

Reacting after DC’s ouster, Pant tweeted that IPL 2021 ended in heartbreak for the franchise but lauded the team and described them as exceptional warriors. He wrote:

“It ended in heartbreak last night, but I could not be more proud of leading this team of exceptional warriors. We battled hard through the season, and while we may have fallen short on some days, we always gave 100 per cent.”

Pant was named DC captain after Shreyas Iyer was ruled out due to a shoulder injury ahead of the first half of IPL 2021. The Delhi management retained Pant as skipper even after Iyer was fit for the second half of the tournament in the UAE.

Edited by Samya Majumdar
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