Rishabh Pant: Caught between attack and defence

Nov 17:During Delhi's previous Ranji Trophy encounter against Karnataka at Alur, Rishabh Pant, their stand-in captain, was batting on 41 and looked poised for a big haul. However, against the run of play, he played onto the stumps off-spinner K Gowtham's quicker delivery. It was a rather tentative shot played by a batsman, who is known for his big-hitting prowess. You could term Pant's dismissal at Alur as an aberration. But the 20-year-old would get dismissed in a fairly similar manner on the final day's play at the Palam Ground ten days ago where Delhi beat Uttar Pradesh by four wickets. In pursuit of 252, Pant walked into bat with Delhi needing 70 runs. He got off to a pretty sedate start, collecting 26 runs from 33 deliveries. In partnership with Milind, the result looked like a foregone conclusion.
Inexplicably, Pant would once again play an innocuous shot to Uttar Pradesh's left-arm spinner Mohammad Saif, only to see his stumps rattled. Pant's untimely exit left the dressing-room a tad anxious, before a flurry of lusty hits from Navdeep Saini sealed the deal for Delhi.The twin dismissals aptly illustrates Pant's current frame of mind, and it also showcases how underwhelming his current Ranji Trophy campaign has been. His 972 runs last season comprised a triple hundred, and three tons, which put him fourth in the list of highest run-getters.
In the three innings spanning two Ranji games this season, he has managed to register scores of 41, 30 and 26. The worrying trend in these three innings have been that he has managed to get off to decent starts, but has not managed to convert them into a substantial score. And in all these three essays, he got dismissed in under the most underwhelming circumstances. In the three unofficial ODIs against New Zealand A, he had scores of 2 ,1 and 67. His torrid run continued in the two tour games against New Zealand. Across formats, Pant has thus scored only a solitary half-century in his last eight outings this season.
Delhi coach KP Bhaskar, however, is not vexed by Pant's tepid run in recent times. "Look, his style is not to simply block and graft. Agencies
Source: Agencies



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