In spite of his failure in T20Is – the shortest format of the game – against West Indies, Rishabh Pant is a first-choice wicketkeeper in the first ODI against the same opposition. So, the team management’s intentions are clear. They have full confidence in Rishabh’s talent. They are ready to give him as many chances as he needs to succeed at the highest level. Something that only Rohit Sharma has enjoyed in the recent past. In fact, their batting coach – Vikram Rathour – spoke about it before the first ODI that he has immense talent. Skipper and Coach Ravi Shastri – skipper and coach respectively – are backing him in media for quite some time now.
How much is too much?
However, the question is: “how much is too much?” Should there be a balance between talent and performance for players to be given chances? Or a player shall be given N number of chances based purely on talent? Let’s take an example of Karun Nair – albeit in the tests – who hasn’t appeared in the tests in spite of being only the second Indian to score a triple century. There is no doubt that he has as much talent as any other batsmen across the domestic circuit.
How far should Rishabh Pant be Carried?
As mentioned earlier, everyone has clear confidence in his ability, and it keeps reflecting once in a while. In fact, he’s the only Indian wicketkeeper to score centuries in England and Australia – two difficult conditions to score runs in. However, shouldn’t this talent be backed by the consistency for a player to be in the team? In spite of playing 38 white-ball matches for Team India, he has scored only two half-centuries – no century at all – across the formats. As a matter of fact, both these 50s are in T20Is, none in ODIs.
To give him a run for his money, Sanju Samson has already scored a List-A double century this season, in Vijay Hazare trophy. In spite of scoring consistently across the formats, he hasn’t been given a single chance.
Based on all these points, the current ODI series against the West Indies should be his last chance. If he doesn’t perform, it is time to move on from his talent. The likes of Sanju Samson or even KS Bharat are knocking on the door, quite loudly.