Kohli Asks Indian Public To Go Easy On Pant

By Dhanu Delphi on December 6, 2019

Rishabh Pant was deemed the only successor to MS Dhoni. The dashing wicket-keeper batsman has shown that he can perform in all three formats of the game. The selectors backed Pant and gave him a lot of opportunities during the last 12 months. However, the 22-year-old has not been able to deliver and cement his spot in the squad.

Yet Another T20 Series For Pant To Find Form

With MS Dhoni making himself unavailable for selection, the selectors have once again shown faith in Pant. India will play the West Indies in a three match T20 series with the first T20 scheduled to take place on December 6 and Pant is expected to play.

To say that the youngster will be under pressure is to state the obvious. The selectors have done well to back him and believe in his abilities despite his poor form. On the other hand, the selectors have also imposed more pressure on Pant as his repeated failures at international level have caused the Indian public to turn on him.

Sanju Samson is arguably a better talent given his better technique and timing. When it comes to glove work, there is not a lot of difference between the two. However, Pant is definitely the more dynamic in terms of power hitting. And he knows that another failure in this T20 series could result in Samson taking his place.

Kohli To The Rescue

The pressure on Pant is so much so that Indian captain Virat Kohli has had to come to his defence. Kohli said that when Pant makes a mistake on the field, the crowd starts chanting ‘MS Dhoni’. It is a sarcastic way of saying they prefer to see MS Dhoni on the field instead of Pant.

This is not the first time that Pant has been defended by his captain. Rohit Sharma did the same thing when he was captaining in the absence of Kohli. Sharma had also requested the Indian public to leave his young teammate alone and give him the space to be relaxed and find form. Kohli went on to say that when the fans chant ‘MS Dhoni’ when Pant is playing, it is disrespectful and makes him nervous.

Kohli also requested the public to make the talented youngster feel like he belongs in international cricket. And that they were there to support him and not be against him.

Low On Confidence

Kohli’s remarks clearly show that Pant is low on confidence and is feeling the pressure greatly. However, it is a little unreasonable to ask the fans to make Pant feels like he belongs in international cricket. If the young wicket-keeper batsman feels that he is out at sea, then the selectors need to do the right thing and give him a break so that he can go back to domestic cricket and find his feet again.

If the left-hander fails in the first T20, he is going to be under even more pressure. The only way for him to get out of this rut is to make a big score. If he ends up failing, the selectors will have no option but to give him a break.

It will also be interesting to see if the Indian fans take Kohli’s advice and go easy on Pant!