After KL Rahul donned the gloves in the recently-concluded T20I series, there has been a question mark on Rishabh Pant’s position in the team. Former Indian allrounder Irfan Pathan has given his word of advice regarding Pant’s future.
In the ODI series against Australia, Rishabh was ruled out of the second game because of concussion. His ouster gave an ultimate chance to Rahul, to serve as a wicketkeeper. Thus, Rahul proved to be a beneficial replacement for Pant behind the stumps.
Irfan Pathan thinks KL Rahul is a ‘better wicketkeeper’ than Rishabh Pant:
In the second ODI match, Rahul has acted as the perfect finisher for the team, and as well as impressed with his glovework. Since then, he has earned the permanent place as the wicketkeeper. In New Zealand, he also played the first T20I series as a wicketkeeper-batsman.
Rahul’s emergence has questioned the 21-year-old’s position in the team. In the five-match T20I series, he was benched while Sanju Samson was given a chance in the last two T20Is.
Notably, Pathan also believes that Pant has great batting skills but he is not better than Rahul when it comes to doing the job behind wickets.
Speaking on Star Sports in Game Plan, Pathan said, “I really believe that Rishabh Pant has a big future when it comes to about his batting abilities. In keeping, he still needs to improve, he needs to work a lot. KL Rahul is actually keeping better than Rishabh Pant at the moment.”
Moreover, Rahul has donned the gloves for Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) in the IPL as well as for the Karnataka team in the domestic circuit.
Irfan Pathan’s views on Rishabh Pant’s position:
However, Pathan expressed that there should be proper communication between team management and Rishabh Pant. He also believes that the youngster needs backing from the team.
“Even if Pant is warming the bench now, the team management should give him serious backing that although you are not in the Playing XI, it doesn’t mean that you are not in the scheme of things. He has a bright future but he needs to work a lot,” Pathan added.
Meanwhile, India will play the first ODI match against New Zealand on 5th February. It will be interesting to see whether Pant will be included in the Playing XI for the opener or he has to wait a bit longer.