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Chief Selector MSK Prasad names possible replacements for Rishabh Pant across different formats

Just a day after Rishabh Pant got out again by playing a rash shot during the second T20I against South Africa, chief selector MSK Prasad has stated that the selectors are grooming potential players who could be used as a backup wicketkeeper batsman for misfiring Pant. However, despite that Pant will continue to be the first-choice until a suitable replacement is found, said the national chairman of selectors.

However, before the series against West Indies and South Africa began, the selectors stated that Rishabh Pant would be picked for the series versus West Indies and South Africa since they are aiming for the future. During an interview with the Indian Express, MSK Prasad stated about managing Pant’s workload and the potential candidates, who would be Pant’s suitable replacement.

“We are monitoring the workload of Rishabh. Of course, we have been grooming backups across all formats. We have the young KS Bharath doing well in the longer format for India A. We also have Ishan Kishan and Sanju Samson doing well in the shorter formats for India ‘A’ and domestic cricket,” Prasad said. The chairman of selectors however made it quite clear that he still believes in Pant’s potential.

“I have already said that post World Cup we have been concentrating on the progress of Rishabh. We need to be patient with him, considering the immense talent that he possesses,” the chief selector added. Pant, who currently is in the centre of a ‘careless-fearless’ debate, was advised by India’s newly appointed batting coach Vikram Rathour to think his innings through.

“I think he is a phenomenal player. There is no doubt about that. But what he needs to do is to sort his game plan. He needs to be more disciplined and all the young players like him need to understand that there is a fine line between fearless cricket and careless cricket,” Rathour had said.

“What the team management is asking from them is to be fearless. About having a clear game plan and playing with intent. Focus should be batting to your strength and at the same time, one cannot be careless. I am sure they have started to understand that,” Rathour added.

During the second T20I, when batsman Rishabh Pant came out to bat at number 4 ahead of Shreyas Iyer, India were at 94/2 after 11.4 overs, chasing 150 for victory. The required rate was below seven and Virat Kohli was bossing the other end. With 11 Tests, 12 ODIs and 19 T20Is already under his belt, the left-hander was expected to read the match situation well and play second fiddle to his captain to see his side through.

Like the World Cup semifinal against New Zealand at Old Trafford, Pant fell prey to his batting indiscipline and got out playing a rash shot. In 19 T20Is, the left-handed batsman managed to register only four 30-plus scores which could perhaps be the reason why the selectors have asked Dhoni to not retire before the 2020 T20 World Cup. The selectors aim is to get Pant trained and well ready for the next big ICC tournament.

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