Indian wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant, a very talented cricketer, has been in news for the wrong reasons recently. Lately, questions regarding his temperament have been raised.
The 21-year-old cricketer has become the first choice wicketkeeper for the Men in Blue post-ICC World Cup 2019. As explained by Indian chief selector MSK Prasad, they are looking at the future of Indian cricket. Especially with the T20 World Cup, which is going to be held in Australia next year, the selectors are planning to set up a squad.
As a result of this plan, Pant was given a green signal instead of Dhoni as a regular member of the playing eleven. The 38-year-old former Indian captain will mentor Pant until he becomes capable of taking the responsibility.
But after the World Cup, Pant's form has taken a dip. There has been tremendous inconsistency and lack of responsibility from the youngster' part.
He did not score many runs in the recently concluded West Indies tour, leaving aside a match-winning performance in the final T20 fixture against the Caribbean nation.
Pant has been severely criticised by fans and experts for throwing away his wicket too early and not taking up the responsibility to add any value to his team's efforts.
Many people have mentioned that Dhoni should be called up immediately as Pant is not utilising the chances he is getting.
The biggest question that arises is will Pant be a part of the Indian contingent for the T20 World Cup if he continues to perform this way.
Indian captain Virat Kohli had recently made his expectations clear with the youngsters. He told in an interview with Star Sports that the young guns will get limited opportunities that can vary from four to five matches and they need to perform to register a place in the team for the T20 World Cup.
He went on to say that when he came in the team as a youngster, he did not expect a lot of opportunities to stake his claim for a particular spot in the squad. He added that the mindset of the youngsters should be like that and they need to perform to settle their place. It can be so that Kohli was saying this keeping Pant in mind. In fact, the Indian captain has also been open about having Dhoni back in the team.
Moreover, Indian head coach Ravi Shastri, before the first T20 fixture of the three-match series against South Africa, said that Pant will be reprimanded if he throws away his wicket irresponsibly. He mentioned that the 21-year-old will get scolding, whether he has the talent or not will not matter.
So, Pant definitely needs to perform if he wants to be in the pan of things for the upcoming World Cup as Dhoni is possibly in Kohli's mind.
If Pant fails to live up to the expectations he can definitely be replaced by Dhoni for the upcoming event. Moreover, other young and promising wicketkeepers like Sanju Samson and Ishan Kishan are waiting to get a chance to perform. They can easily use the opportunity if Pant fails.
The Men in Blue are slated to face South Africa for the second T20 fixture on September 18, which will be an important test for the 21-year-old. This series will definitely decide the future of Pant.