Rishabh Pant has not looked back since this year’s Indian Premier League. Pant ended this year’s IPL as the second highest run-getter with 684 runs from 14 games. It included five fifties and one century. He soon found a place in India A squad for the England tour where he impressed as well. It paved his way for Test call-up, and he made a big impression again.
The southpaw got off the mark in Tests with a six before scoring a stunning century in the final Test. It was followed by two impressive fifties against Windies at home. And Pant further enhanced his reputation with a stunning display in the Test series against Australia. The highly-rated youngster finished the series as the second highest-run scorer, amassing 350 runs including a record-breaking unbeaten ton in Sydney.
His performances, meanwhile, have made many bat for his inclusion in the World Cup squad. The calls elevated after the selectors dropped him for the ODI series against Australia and New Zealand, hinting that Pant does not feature prominently in team’s plans for the World Cup. However, MSK Prasad, chairman of selectors, has quashed all the notions and has insisted that Pant is “very much” part of India’s World Cup plans.
He also stated that Pant was not named in the ODI squad because the selectors wanted to give him rest. Prasad further stated that Pant will play in the one-dayers against England Lions later this month.
“Rishabh Pant played three T20Is and four Test matches in Australia and that had an impact on his body,” Prasad told PTI. “He needed complete rest for two weeks and then we will take a call on how many matches he will play against England Lions. Let me put it straight, he is very much in our World Cup plans. He is a champion player in the making and even he is not fully aware the kind of potential he has.”
The one-day series against England Lions will get underway on January 23 in Thiruvananthapuram. Pant is likely to return to India’s ODI squad during the home series against Australia.