Rishabh Pant's indifferent form a worry for Virat Kohli and Team India

India wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant wasted yet another opportunity on Wednesday against South Africa and his reckless batting approach has once again raised eyebrows.

Rishabh Pant in good spirits during a practice session in Mohali.   -  AKHILESH KUMAR

74 runs in the last five T20I outings clearly shows Rishabh Pant isn't in a good space.

India required another 54 runs on Wednesday against South Africa in the second T20I when Pant walked in to bat. The wicketkeeper-batsman first survived a direct hit, then picked a single off a leg bye and then collected a couple of runs.

Pant seemed jittery and what followed next was brain fade. Bjorn Fortuin dragged it down, Pant could have smacked it anywhere but instead, he ended up hitting straight down the throat of Tabraiz Shamshi at short fine leg.

READ: IND v SA: Time for a reality check for the cavalier Rishabh Pant

Pant's dip in form is a worrying sign for Team India and although he has the backing of the team management, it seems time is running out for the Delhi lad.

Pant's report card in white-ball cricket is rather abysmal.

Rishabh Pant in ODIs

MatchesRunsHSAvg50s Ct     
122294822.90  0    7 

           

In the 12 matches, he has managed to score just 229 runs with a highest score of 48 that came against Bangladesh during the 2019 World Cup at Birmingham.

Batting at a crucial No.4 position, (although it changes depending on the situation), Pant has failed to grab the chances that have come his way.

While head coach Ravi Shastri and captain Kohli want the youngster to step into the big shoes of MS Dhoni, Pant, with his failures with the bat has done himself no good.

In the last five ODIs, Pant has managed scores of 48, 4, 32, 20 and 0. Soon after the World Cup, India travelled to the West Indies and Pant - playing in place of Dhoni, who was on a sabbatical - failed to make his bat do the talking.

READ: Vikram Rathour: 'Pant needs to sort out his game plan a little more'

If batting has been a failure, his wicket-keeping hasn't been brilliant either as in the last five ODIs, Pant has taken just one catch. And what's more notable is, he is yet to effect a stumping!

In T20Is too, Pant hasn't really set the stage on fire. 

Rishabh Pant in T20Is

MatchesRunsHSAvg50sCt
19  30665*20.4026

 

Before his unbeaten 65 against the West Indies recently at Providence, he last scored a fifty against West Indies in Chennai in 2018. It took Pant 10 innings to score another fifty, although he can boast of an unbeaten 40 against New Zealand in Auckland that came in a winning cause.

Newly appointed batting coach Vikram Rathore minced no words when he said that 'there is a fine line between fearless cricket and careless cricket' and no doubt the words were directed at Pant.

India has already begun preparations for next year's World T20 in Australia and it has got nearly 20 games to build a perfect combination.

For now, Pant is clearly in the scheme of things. But, only an improved show with the bat along with a change in mindset can only guarantee him a place in the limited overs set-up.