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Should India consider alternatives to Rishabh Pant in T20Is?

Should India consider alternatives to Rishabh Pant in T20Is?

Cricket’s T20 format is quite brutal. Because there is so little time to react and perform, it is a situation that puts a player’s consistency to the test more than any other. For batters, time is always running out, and those who bat in the middle of the order experience a faster pace. These batters frequently find themselves in predicaments where they must decide quickly whether to abandon their guard or launch an all-out assault. Those who can do this with accuracy end up winning games for their teams, while those who can’t frequently fall short.

Rishabh Pant is one of these players for the Indian cricket team. The southpaw’s well-known big-hitting skills make him an ideal fit for the format, but he has frequently fallen short, as Pakistan’s crucial Asia Cup Super 4 match against him in Dubai on Sunday demonstrated.

Pant started batting when India was 91/3 after 9.4 overs. At the other end, Virat Kohli looked like a million bucks and a solid foundation had already been laid. Pant had an easy task. Get the occasional boundary away, then give Kohli the strike so he may erupt in the final five overs.

But the reverse actually occurred. Even though he managed to get two boundaries, including one off a streaky outside edge, he never seemed at ease in the crease. Pant struggled to know how to continue his innings and eventually lost to a weak reverse sweep.

India’s captain Rohit Sharma justified the team’s strategy by claiming that it has selected a high risk strategy. If Pant had been caught trying to go for a maximum at the boundary, this defense would have been valid in his situation. Given the field that was created for him, the shot he got out to wasn’t a percentage shot, and therein lays his biggest challenge: shot selection.

However, the main issue is his career strike-rate, which is a dismal 126.16. Pant absolutely has to consider his strategy for the T20I format because his scoring percentage is relatively poor for a batsman who often bats in the second half of an innings.

For the time being, it is up to the Indian team management and selectors to come up with solutions before another T20 World Cup.

If Rohit Sharma and Rahul Dravid want to win the championship in Australia, they will need to make some difficult decisions.

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