Rajkot: The Indian cricket team thrashed South Africa by 82 runs at the Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Rajkot on Friday to level the five-match series. Dinesh Karthik scored a blistering 55, while Avesh Khan got four wickets for 18 runs. However, Rishabh Pant’s bad form also caught the attention of Indian fans.
Pant, who became captain for the series after KL Rahul’s injury, has been struggling in the series so far. He had mediocre Indian Premier League (IPL) 2022 as well and hasn’t been able to improve his performance against South Africa in the ongoing series.
He got a start in the last match but failed to convert it into a big score. He managed to score on 17 runs off 23 deliveries in the last match. Some former cricketers stated that Pant needs to do better in the shortest format of the game.
Former Indian all-rounder Irfan Pathan said, “Love Rishabh pant as a cricketer but his t20 international numbers need to get better.”
Pant has played 47 T20I matches so far and has scored 740 runs with an average of just 23.12 which is fairly low for a wicketkeeper-batsman and a potential captain of the Indian cricket team.
A fan wrote, “Give him 45-50 chances more to prove himself in T20is.”
People on Twitter also compared Pant to in-form Dinesh Karthik and Rajasthan Royal’s captain Sanju Sampson, who took his team to the final of IPL 2022.
Comparing Pant to Dinesh Karthik, a fan tweeted, “In search of Rishabh Pant we lost Dinesh Karthik & Sanju Samson. Time slowly underlining that. BCCI became blind, and they went after Pant for all formats. He is the best test wicket-keeper batter for India, but unfortunately not in White ball cricket.”
Another fan said, “Before rating Sanju Samson give him at least 50% chances that Rishabh Pant got. 46 T20i matches with 23 avg and 126 SR speaks volumes about Pant the t20 player.”
People on Twitter also pointed out Pant’s weakness against left-arm orthodox in T20Is. A fan mentioned, “This was Rishabh Pant’s 7th dismissal against left-arm orthodox in T20Is. His avg against left-arm orthodox now stands at 6.85 in T20Is.”
It is clear that Pant needs to improve his form quickly if he wants to stay in the side. Hardik Pandya will be the captain in the upcoming T20Is against Ireland and if Pant wants to be safe in the limited over side then he needs to produce some top-quality batting in the upcoming matches.
The last game of the five-match series will be played on Sunday in Bengaluru.