Rishabh Pant is still very much a part of India’s plans for the upcoming World Cup in England, starting in May, chairman of the selection committee MSK Prasad, told India Today on Monday.
Pant’s recent exploits in the Test series against Australia, wherein he was the second highest run-getter (with 350 runs), makes a strong case for his selection but he was not included in the team for the upcoming three-match ODI series against Australia, followed by a visit to New Zealand.
Pant, 21, has not the best of records in the limited overs format yet, however. In two ODI innings, has scored 41 runs. In List A, he has 879 runs from 34 innings at a strike-rate of 105.3. And, in T20s, he has 1,876 runs at a devastating strike-rate of 163.27. These numbers, especially the high strike-rate, testify his ability as an aggressive lower-order batsman even though he has not made the few chances that came in India colours count.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni, however, is all set to be India’s first choice wicket-keeper in the team for the World Cup. Dinesh Karthik’s the other wicket-keeper in the fray.
“There is absolutely no doubt that [Pant] is among one of those wicketkeepers [for World Cup]. All the three shortlisted keepers are doing well. He is definitely part of pour World Cup plans. It’s a part of the workload management we are following,” Prasad told India Today.
“He is the only wicketkeeper to score hundred in England and Australia. We have given him some targets. We have set him he has to finish the matches and come. This Sydney Test match [in which he scored a 189-ball 159] will be a turning point in his career,” Prasad added.
The chairman of selectors also said that Pant’s “having a few niggles” after the four-match Test series, which could explain the decision to leave him out of the ODIs against Australia and England.