Rishabh Pant not a certainty for me in T20Is, says former India opener Wasim Jaffer – Firstcricket News, Firstpost

Rishabh Pant’s struggles with the bat this season has prompted some quarters of the Indian cricket fraternity to question his place in the current Indian side and one former cricketer believes the wicketkeeper-batter wouldn’t make the cut as far as the T20I side is concerned.

Former India opener Wasim Jaffer was of the opinion that Pant, currently serving as captain of the Indian team in the five-match series against South Africa, isn’t a certainty in the current side given KL Rahul walks back into the XI as a top-order batter who can also keep wickets, as well as taking veteran keeper-bat Dinesh Karthik’s recent resurgence into account.

“Once KL Rahul comes back, he walks into the side. He is a wicketkeeper as well. If Dinesh Karthik is certain to play, he is also a wicketkeeper. The way Rishabh Pant has played recently, I won’t call him a certainty,” Jaffer, the leading run-scorer in the history of Ranji Trophy, told ESPNCricinfo.

“I think he needs to score runs and score pretty consistently. He hasn’t done that in the IPL or in any T20 internationals,” added Jaffer.

Pant didn’t quite live up to his lofty standards while captaining Delhi Capitals in IPL 2022 and hasn’t exactly lit the stage of fire in the ongoing series either, registering scores of 29, 6 and 6.

Pant’s failures with the bat, however, have been compensated for by the opening pair of Ishan Kishan and Ruturaj Gaikwad, both of whom were in sparkling form in the third T20I against the Proteas as they laid the foundation for a challenging total with a 97-run first-wicket stand.

Kishan, incidentally another keeper-batter in the side, is currently the leading run-scorer in the ongoing T20I series, having collected 164 runs in three outings at an average of 54.66 and a strike rate of 157.69.

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