Rishabh Pant doesn’t know the right method of scoring runs at number 4: VVS Laxman
Rishabh Pant (AFP Photo)

India‘s search for a reliable No. 4 continues with the latest claimant Rishabh Pant unable to jot together consistent performances. In the third and final T20I of a three-match series against South Africa on Sunday, Pant scored 19 off 20 putting himself in the crossfires of those questioning his batting spot in the batting line-up.

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After Sunil Gavaskar, batting legend VVS Laxman has also weighed in on Pant’s struggles blaming his aggressive game and lack of knowledge regarding how to build innings while batting at No. 4. Laxman suggests the young wicketkeeper-batsman should drop down the order at No. 5 or 6 that’ll give him more freedom to play the way he wants to.

“The nature of Rishabh Pant’s batting is that he plays aggressive shots…unfortunately at the international level he is not able to succeed at the number four position,” Laxman said on Star Sports. “Pant should bat at number 5 and 6, where you have the license to go out and express yourself and at the moment he doesn’t know the right method of scoring runs at number 4.”

But Laxman has backed Pant, who has excelled in Test cricket but yet to make a mark in limited-overs, to come good saying it’s just a phase which every cricketers is bound to encounter. “Every player goes through this phase, his natural game is free flowing but suddenly he is not gaining the same results (in IPL),” Laxman observed.

He continued, “He is trying to evolve and trying to add different dimensions to his game by rotating the strike that we saw in the previous match but unfortunately, his shot selection at the start of the innings has not been great. He also has a lot of pressure as he is taking the place of MS Dhoni who has done a lot for Indian cricket, to get his confidence back the team management needs to let him go bat at number 5 or 6 and express himself.”

Laxman feels allrounder Hardik Pandya and Shreyas Iyer are better candidates for the all-important spot. “There are other people to bat at number 4 like Hardik Pandya and Shreyas Iyer who are experienced and could play at that spot,” he said.