The Rishabh Pant experiment isn’t working, but it’s moving in the right direction


In the end, the tactic to open with Rishabh pants regressed. He was expected to turn on the ignition, but he worked for 18 of 34 balls on a surface where the ball rocked and sewed when new. Until in a rush of frenzy, he seemed very nervous, sometimes even desperate to justify the decision. Had the move worked, it would have been the new captain’s first coup. rohit sharmaholding of . She did not do it.

Yet, both for apparent failure and for the ridicule both Pant and Sharma could face, it was a forward-thinking move, a step in the right direction in the country’s quest for a boost at the top of the order, even one that could change the landscape. . Therefore, the merit and rationale of the stratagem should not be judged on the basis of an isolated result. Just as the movement shouldn’t have been instantly glorified if it had come out.

Later, in a chat from the floor with the announcers, Sharma specified that the usual starter Shikhar Dhawan he would claim his place when he returned. “People will be happy to see Rishabh open then, but yeah, it’s not permanent. We’ll get Shikhar back in the next game. We want to try some things with the long term in mind,” she said.

But don’t be surprised if Pant breaks out as a starter more often. That India needs ammunition in order is well known. All of their trusted and proven senior batsmen are exemplary hitmakers and inscrutable match winners. But none of them, from Sharma to Dhawan and Virat Kohli to KL Rahul: Can drive a tackle early. Like, say, Jason Roy in the last World Cup (443 runs with a strike rate of 115). They might speed up and improvise later on their strikes, but not when they’re fresh in the crease, like Virender Sehwag in the past. Replicating what Sehwag accomplished in his Destructive Peak is tough, but Pant could offer a good opportunity.

There’s no denying that Pant has the Sehwagian streak of nonchalance. He has the courage to spot the first ball he faces for a bound; he is unfazed by the ball that just hit him; he is not intimidated by failures or criticism; in the crease of him radiates an infectious positivity and, above all, he can win matches and disorient bowlers. He may not have won as many games as befits his inexorable potential, but he has shown in Test and T20 matches that he can finish games.

It is not the work of a specialist

That he’s not a specialist starter isn’t a viable argument either. Neither Sehwag nor even Sachin Tendulkar or Rohit Sharma, or Sanath Jayasuriya, or Adam Gilchrist. Opening in cue ball cricket has long ceased to be a specialist job. On the contrary, improvised ones have been better adapted to the changing dimensions of the role. It is not stability that they are supposed to provide, but momentum, the knockout blow that sets the pace. At least in India, one does not need to possess a hermetic technique to weather a swinging ball. And it is in India where the next World Cup for over 50s will be played. So every plot and step would be in that direction.

Coincidentally, Sehwag also faltered in his first three innings as a starter in this version of the game, but rattled off a 100-for-70 turnaround against New Zealand in Colombo. So the Pant movement is packed with delicious possibilities. The southpaw could metamorphose into a riotous pace in the order. The rest of the higher order could bide their time and dig for the long haul.

Not that opening is an annoying concern for India (Dhawan and Sharma are among the best in the world), but preparing Pant could be to the benefit of both him and his team. If it’s not a permanent role, it could be a backup plan, not only if one of the regulars gets injured (they have the knack of picking one too often), but also in the event India chase a steep total or need to qualify. for the knockout stages by increasing the net execution rate. Trainer raul dravid he could be employing the same mantra of flexibility that was the hallmark of his captain days. Also, Sharma is 34, Dhawan 36. Age could affect his reflexes. It is time for India to simplify his successors.

A great incentive could be that Pant could finally unlock his ODI potential. For all his sizzle in the longer format, he’s only shone sporadically in this format: In 21 innings, he’s averaged just 31, has yet to hit triple figures, and batted mostly 4, 5 and 6, where he often seemed confused. in the role of the anointed finalist. He seems to have withered under the immense shadow of Mahendra Singh Dhoni. Rise in the order could, in turn, move him further out of Dhoni’s shadow and free him. It could also strengthen India’s batting lineup.


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