Virender Sehwag has questioned the Indian team management’s decision to drop Rishabh Pant from the Playing XI, pointing out that it is important for the team to have proper communication with the youngster if he is not in their plans.
Pant, part of India’s squad, wasn’t even considered for the 4th T20I, a dead rubber considering India had already bagged the series after winning the first three games and the former India batsman said there sure is no way for Pant to be back among runs if he is kept benched.
“Rishabh Pant has been left out how will he score runs? If you bench Sachin Tendulkar also, he won’t be able to score runs. If you feel he is a match-winner, why don’t you play him? Because he is not consistent?” Sehwag questioned during a Cricbuzz talk show.
“During our time, captain used to go and talk with the player [in question]. Now I don’t know if Virat Kohli does the same or not. I am not part of the team setup. But people say that when Rohit Sharma went to Asia Cup [in 2018] as captain, he used to talk to all the players.
Pant was dropped from India’s Playing XI after receiving a concussion during the first ODI against Australia last month, and KL Rahul took over the wicketkeeping duties. From being India’s preferred first-choice wicketkeeper to not being considered for a dead rubber, the last few months have been tough for Pant.
Sehwag cited the infamous rotation policy which former India captain MS Dhoni followed, according to which, during the 2012 CB Series, one of the India’s top three – Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir and Sachin Tendulkar – would have to sit out. The former batsman added that Dhoni did not convey the right message to the players and it’s unfair on Pant if something similar is happening again.
“When M.S. Dhoni said in Australia that top three are slow fielders, we were never asked or consulted. We got to know from the media. He said at the press conference but not at the team meeting that we are slow fielders,” he said.
“Talk at the team meeting was that we need to play Rohit Sharma who is new and that’s why there will be rotation policy. If the same is happening now, that’s wrong.”