T20 World Cup player profile: Rishabh Pant

Rishabh Pant will be expected to finish games for India
Rishabh Pant will be expected to finish games for India

While there is no doubt that Rishabh Pant will be the designated gloveman for India in the upcoming T20 World Cup, there is also that extraordinary ability he possesses with the bat that can change the course of the game for the side.

Pant has been one of the more improved players in the recent past and with Hardik Pandya's dwindling form, the onus will be on the Delhi lad to deliver.

This will be Pant's first T20 World Cup and he comes into the tournament with 33 T20Is and 512 runs to his name.

Rishabh Pant's T20 form in the last 10 games

In the eight games the Delhi Capitals played at the UAE this IPL, Pant registered one fifty and a couple of 30+ scores. He finished the tournament with 419 runs from 16 matches at an average of 34.91 and a strike rate of 128.52.

The 24-year-old had valuable contributions with a bunch of 20+ scores in the T20I series against England earlier this year.

Why is Rishabh Pant a key figure in India's setup?

In one word, it is just about his presence. Rishabh Pant, on his day, is an explosive batter who can toy with world-class bowling attacks. His no-holds-barred approach with the willow makes him more than just a handy lower-order bat.

Pant will also have to shoulder the responsibility of shepherding the lower order when he bats. With Hardik Pandya going through a miserable run slump, the 24-year-old becomes crucial to India's hopes of either setting or chasing daunting targets.

Expert opinion: "Rishabh Pant has become predictable"

Former Pakistan skipper Salman Butt, meanwhile, has shared his two cents on Pant's approach to white-ball cricket. On his YouTube channel, Butt dubbed Pant a "moody" batter.

β€œHe is very moody," Butt said. "Out of nowhere, he steps down and tries to hit out. He does this so frequently that other teams have started anticipating his moves. I think Rishabh Pant has become a little predictable".

Butt hoped the wicketkeeper would bring in a lot more maturity to his game.

"He will need to bat with a more mature mindset," Butt said. "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."

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Edited by Sudeshna Banerjee
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