Opinion: The selectors should consider dropping Rishabh Pant from the Indian side
In many cases in various walks of life, talent is often taken for granted. While there might be a plethora of talented people, only a handful few make it to the very top. The others might just fizzle out, guilty of always taking this talent for granted.
And that is why for every Vinod Kambli, there is Sachin Tendulkar and for every Nick Kyrgios, there is a Roger Federer. For, men like Tendulkar and Federer chisel themselves day in and day out in their quest for perfection, never taking their talent for granted. While the likes of Kambli always remain also-rans, the likes of Tendulkar scale every peak in the Sport.
One man who has indeed taken his talent for granted is Rishabh Pant. The 22-year-old sensation has been extremely reckless in his short selection and has thrown his wicket away on numerous occasions. In the last 4 appearances for India, the mercurial left-hander has scores of 6,27,19 and 4. He has perished while appearing to be casual, an approach that does not augur well for him in the future.
In fact, Pant has been under scrutiny in the recent past for his dismal performances. Ravi Shastri had earlier said that Pant would get a ‘rap on his knuckles’ if he continues to throw his wicket away, while batting coach Vikram Rathour was of the view that Pant was indulging in careless and not fearless cricket.
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In fact, this what the batting coach had to say about young Pant, “All the young players need to understand that there is a fine line between fearless cricket and careless cricket. What the team management is asking from him is fearless cricket, having clear game plans and playing with intent but at the same time, you can’t be careless. I am sure that they are smart enough to understand that.”
And, if Pant continues in the same vein, it is indeed high time for the selectors to drop him and look for other options. Sanju Samson is in stupendous form having smashed a double hundred in a domestic game against Goa. The right-hander was also in good form during the IPL, having scored 432 runs including a whirlwind 102* off just 55 balls against Sunrisers Hyderabad. Samson has not been given a look in so far, with the selectors sticking with Pant.
The selectors could also consider someone like Robin Uthappa as another wicketkeeping option. Uthappa is 34 years old, but still has some gas left in the tank. And, this is indicated by the fact that Uthappa has been a regular in the high profile IPL, having amassed 4411 runs across 12 seasons. Also, Uthappa has had huge experience at the domestic level, having been on the road for more than a decade. Persisting with Pant has created a feeling that Indian cricket is running short of wicket-keeping options, which is not exactly the case.
Probably dropping Pant will be better for him. A break away from the limelight would allow the extremely talented cricketer to introspect and delve deep. While dropping Pant might sound harsh in the short run, in the long run, it would do both him and Indian cricket a world of good.