Rishabh Pant’s dismal performance in the recently-concluded T20I series against South Africa has once again opened the can of worms around the much-debated No.4 spot in Team India’s batting order. Rated as the perfect successor of legendary MS Dhoni, Pant has failed big-time to fill those massive boots, especially in the white-ball format. His approach and shot-selection, in particular, has been a major cause of worry for Virat Kohli and Co. who bank upon the youngster to deliver the goods in the famed batting unit.
Amidst all the buzz and noise around his spot, former Indian cricketer – VVS Laxman has come up with crucial advice for the young stumper. The Indian great feels the Pant can regain his form and confidence by coming in lower down the order. “The nature of Rishabh Pant’s batting is that he plays aggressive shots…unfortunately at the international level he is not able to succeed at the number four position,” Laxman said on Star Sports.
“Pant should bat at number 5 and 6, where you have the license to go out and express yourself and at the moment he doesn’t know the right method of scoring runs at number 4,” he pointed out.
Laxman said the 21-year-old shouldn’t be put under too much pressure as every player goes through rough patches at some point. “Every player goes through this phase, his natural game is free-flowing but suddenly he is not gaining the same results (which he did with Delhi franchise in the IPL),” the wristy legend added.
“He is trying to evolve and trying to add different dimensions to his game by rotating the strike that we saw in the previous match but unfortunately, his shot selection at the start of the innings has not been great,” he added.
Laxman said Shreyas Iyer and Hardik Pandya seem better options for the No.4 slot as of now. “There are other people to bat at number 4 like Hardik Pandya and Shreyas Iyer who are experienced and could play at that spot,” he said.
Defending Pant, Laxman said being called the iconic Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s heir apparent has also put the wicketkeeper-batsman under pressure.
“He also has a lot of pressure as he is taking the place of MS Dhoni who has done a lot for Indian cricket, to get his confidence back the team management needs to let him go bat at number 5 or 6 and express himself,” said Laxman.