Rishabh Pant has been under fire for his inability to convert his Test match like batting performances in the shorter formats. He didn’t get many chances in the T20 World Cup 2022, and prior to that as well, his performance with the bat in T20Is was questionable.
He did much better in ODIs, but on the recent tour of New Zealand, his bat has been silent in all the matches he has played. Though enormously talented, it seems Pant’s white-ball career with the bat is under question with pressure from the likes of Ishan Kishan and Sanju Samson, to other keeper-batters.
Much is expected of him in white-ball formats, but like former India opener Virender Sehwag, Pant was looked at as a dasher in white-ball cricket, but found more success in red-ball cricket, much like Sehwag did throughout his career.
The latter is considered to be one of India's best-ever Test openers after the legendary Sunil Gavaskar but his ODI and T20I records, compared to his Test numbers, were not as menacing. It's the same with Pant.
Ahead of the third and final ODI against New Zealand, Pant was questioned about his contrasting white and red ball records by renowned broadcaster Harsha Bhogle in the pre-match show on Prime Video.
However, Rishabh Pant seemed a bit irritated by questions related to Virender Sehwag and his comparison with the Indian legend.
Here is the conversation:
Harsha Bhogle: "Maine Viru se bohut saal pahle ye sawal poocha tha, ab apse puch raha hu. Aapko dekhke lagta hai, white-ball game inki khaas baat hogi but aapka Test record sabse accha hai. (I had asked the same question to Sehwag, now I'll ask you. Looking at you, we get the feeling that white-ball cricket is your USP but it's your Test record that is better...)
Rishabh Pant: "Sir, record toh ek number hai. Mera white-ball record bhi kharab nahi hai. Thik hai T20 ka... (Sir, records are just numbers. My white-ball record is not bad either...)"
Harsha Bhogle (interrupting): "Main kharab nahi kar raha hu, comparison kar raha hu. (I'm not saying it's bad, I'm comparing it with the Test numbers)"
Rishabh Pant: "Comparison karna toh sir apne life ka part hi nahi hai na. Abhi main 24-25 years ka hu, comparison karna hai toh jab main 30-32 ka ho jayunga tab karna, usse pahle toh koi logic nahi hai mere liye. (Doing comparisons is not a part of my life. I'm 24-25, if you want to compare, you can do that when I am 30-32)."
Here are the videos:
In 31 Tests, Pant is the only Indian keeper with centuries in England, South Africa, and Australia, apart from tons in India. He averages 43 and has a strike rate of 72 and is largely seen as someone who can change a Test match on its head in a couple of hours.
In ODIs, Pant averages 35 and has a strike rate of 107.54 and made his maiden century against England in July. In T20Is, the southpaw scores at a strike rate of 126 in his 66 T20Is, which is mainly due to the number at which he bats.
(Amazon Prime inputs)