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Rishabh Pant’s poor form worries cricket pundits, say patience key for batsman

Rishabh Pant needs to stay patient and analyse the pattern of his dismissals in order to regain his form, feel former India cricketers Deep Dasgupta and Vivek Razdan.

cricket Updated: Nov 04, 2017 15:24 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
Rishabh Pant,Ranji Trophy,Indian Cricket
Rishabh Pant has struggled to score big in the ongoing season of the Ranji Trophy. (Twitter )

Rishabh Pant had a brilliant Ranji Trophy last season, and even went on to earn his first national cap for India. With 972 runs in eight matches, Pant finished the 2016/17 season as the fourth highest run-getter with an impressive strike rate of 107.28 — the highest among batsmen who’ve played at least eight innings.

His flamboyance with the bat and the ability to hit maximums earned him accolades from a number of experts and even touted him to take over the wicket-keeping job after MS Dhoni decides to call it quits. However, Pant seems to have lost the steam coming into this season. Although he has displayed that he can still send a few cracking shots to the fence, the problem that has emerged with Pant is his inability to dig deep and score big.

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He’s yet to hit a century this season with the 67 against New Zealand A at Vijaywada being his highest. Also, in his last nine games, he has had to head back to the pavilion with scores of less than 20 against his name. Former India wicketkeeper Deep Dasgupta feels Pant should analyse the pattern of his dismissals.

“If you are getting out in 30s and 40s, you have to analyse why this is happening. Then if you are getting out in a certain pattern, you have to sit with your coach and sort it out,” he was quoted as saying by The Times of India.

“If there is no pattern and you are getting out in different ways, then it’s a worry. It is here the mental side of the game is tested. I am sure Pant will evolve with time.”

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Rishabh Pant’s deteriorating form has led to the selectors even opting back to the ageing Dinesh Karthik, who played the recently concluded ODI series against New Zealand, which the hosts won 2-1. Current chairman of the Delhi selection panel and former cricketer Atul Wassan, however, feels that Pant should remodel his playing style if he wants to go the distance.

“Last year he got runs through similar technique and style. But scoring in the Ranji Trophy is a different ball game. You have to go through the grind,” he told The Times of India.

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“Pant must be feeling that a big one is only a knock away because there is the pressure of his own reputation. He has to spend more time at the crease.”

Former pacer Vivek Razdan reiterated Wassan’s words although with a caveat. He didn’t feel remodeling it completely was necessary, but Pant should focus more on his shot selections.

“Pant’s core strength lies in hitting the ball out of the park and he shouldn’t try to change that. You have got to be choosy about your shots. This is where mental growth comes into play. Everyone knows your style now and that you are talented, this is the time to get over the huddle and be patient,” he said.

First Published: Nov 04, 2017 12:31 IST