Rishabh Pant has been hot and cold with his performances so far in the Indian team. Pant, who played some outrageous knock in the IPL hasn’t been able to replicate it in national colours. Surprisingly he has been only consistent in Tests and not ODIs and T20s in international cricket. Time and again, he has shown glimpses of his talent but still has underperformed on the big stage.
Former India cricketer, Mohammad Kaif recently revealed why Rishabh Pant has been extremely successful in the Indian Premier League (IPL). The Delhi Capitals assistant coach pointed out that Pant has a fixed role and batting position when playing for Delhi. He reckons that when the southpaw plays for the Indian team, he needs to have a specific batting position.
Rishabh Pant needs to have specific batting position – Mohammad Kaif
Kaif also added that Pant seems to play his natural game more in the IPL than in international matches. As a result, he lacks consistency which is frustrating for every Indian team fan. The former cricketer also stated that Pant is a free-flowing batsman and should be allowed to play attacking shots from ball one.
“Rishabh Pant is a free-flowing player. You have to set his batting position, that he will bat at this position and he will get this many overs to play. He needs to be clear in his head that he will get this many overs so that he is not thinking whether he needs to take singles, or if he needs to defend. He is an attacking batsman, he should start hitting attacking shots from the first ball”, Kaif told former India cricketer Aakash Chopra in his YouTube chat show ‘Aakashvani’.
Kaif further added, “So, at Delhi Capitals, me, Dada and Ricky Ponting discussed a few times that whether to send Pant at no. 3 or no. 4. But later we decided that Pant should get at least 60 balls to play. It doesn’t matter which position he is batting at, he needs to get final 10 overs. This thing has not yet been decided by the Indian team”.
“He sometimes bats in the 15th overs in a 50-over match. A finisher or an attacking batsman should be given the same role. The Indian team has not been able to figure out Pant’s batting slot right now. But in IPL, we have figured it out. This is why he has played great in IPL because he plays with a free-flow cricket”, said Mohammad Kaif.
The 22-year-old Rishabh Pant has terrific numbers while playing in the IPL. He has so far scored 1736 runs at an average of 36 and a strike rate of 162.7. But when it comes to T20Is the left-handed batsman has so far struggled and only scored 410 runs at a strike rate of mere 121. Even in ODIs Pant hasn’t been able to cement his place in the squad as he averages a disappointing 26 after 16 matches.