“It was a learning curve for Rishabh Pant as captain” – WV Raman after T20Is vs SA

Former Indian cricketer WV Raman believes under-fire wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant deserves to be cut some slack despite an underwhelming showing against South Africa.

The 24-year-old was the stand-in captain for the hosts and managed to help them level the series 2-2 despite being 0-2 down after two games. However, some of Pant’s tactics raised a few eyebrows.

His form with the bat was woeful as well as he scored just 57 runs in the four completed matches. With Dinesh Karthik scoring a 50 in the fourth T20I, some felt Pant may not be a certainty in India’s T20 World Cup XI.

Just few months back Rishabh Pant played a similar knock like DK and won Man of the Match for India. One bad series cant make him a bad player. Yes his T20I numbers must improve but he still deserves a place in IndIan team🔥. Will back you forever @RishabhPant17 #RishabhPant

However, while speaking to the Hindustan Times, WV Raman reminded everyone that Rishabh Pant had won India games in tough situations away from home. Raman feels it’s just a matter of time before Pant gets back to his best as a batter and he will learn to be a better captain with experience. He said:

“I will concede the fact that it was a learning curve for Pant as a captain. That’s something which we all have to concede. He is a young man who has been absorbing a lot of pressure.”

WV Raman added:

“He has delivered under pressure in Test matches, especially abroad. He has played some lovely innings to win games for India. But when you are leading a national side, you will be the centre of attraction. You will get a lot of attention.”

Happiness of Rishabh Pant when he won his first match as Indian captain.

WV Raman on Hardik Pandya and Venkatesth Iyer’s role against Ireland

Hardik Pandya led the Gujarat Titans to the 2022 Indian Premier League title in his very first assignment as captain. He was extremely impressive at the helm and the BCCI have appointed him as the Indian team’s leader for the two T20Is against Ireland.

It will be interesting to see whether Pandya will back himself to bat at No. 4 as he did for Gujarat, or if he will play as a finisher like he did against South Africa. On this, WV Raman opined:

“What Hardik will perhaps do in Ireland depends a lot on what he’s been told by (Rahul) Dravid. The role which he has been given will dictate his decisions about the batting spot or his overs. The decision will be based on what he is likely to do for the Indian team in near future.”

Venkatesh Iyer has also been picked in the squad, but might not feature in the playing XI. However, WV Raman feels both him and Pandya bring different qualities to the table as seam-bowling all-rounders. He added:

“Upon selecting him (Venkatesh), the selectors might have said he could be useful in bowling a couple of overs. But one would not put Venkatesh as an all-rounder on the same pedestal as Hardik, who has got a different skill-set. Let’s not make comparisons between the two. Each one of them has its strengths.”

India’s squad for Ireland T20Is: Hardik Pandya (C), Bhuvneshwar Kumar (VC), Ishan Kishan, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Sanju Samson, Suryakumar Yadav, Venkatesh Iyer, Deepak Hooda, Rahul Tripathi, Dinesh Karthik (wk), Yuzvendra Chahal, Axar Patel, Ravi Bishnoi, Harshal Patel, Avesh Khan, Arshdeep Singh and Umran Malik.

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