Rishabh Pant’s captaincy debut became one of the biggest talking points in the Indian cricket fraternity. The 24-year-old was named the stand-in skipper for the recently-concluded T20I series against South Africa after KL Rahul suffered an injury ahead of the opener in Delhi. The series ended in a 2-2 draw after the decider in Bengaluru was washed out due to rain.
After going down 0-2, the men in blue made a remarkable return and went on to defeat the Proteas in the next two games to level the series. However, the responsibility seemed to have taken a toll on his batting as Pant. The flamboyant left-hand batter could score just 58 runs in four innings, averaging a mere 14.50. At times, he was also sloppy behind the wickets and ended up missing out on sharp catches.
Former India all-rounder Madan Lal was of the opinion that it was too early to make Pant the captain of India. Speaking with Sports Tak, the 1982 World Cup winner said the young wicketkeeper-batter needs to turn a bit more mature.
“I would have stopped him from becoming captain. Wouldn’t have allowed it. Because such a player needs to be given this responsibility later. Becoming an India captain is a big deal. He is a youngster. He isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. The longer he plays, he will gain more maturity,” Lal told Sports Tak.
“Over the next two years, if he can take his game to the next level, then he can be a good captain, can deal with things maturely. This is a player of a different nature. MS Dhoni was a quiet and cool captain, which suited him as captain. Virat Kohli is a brilliant batter. I’m not saying Pant shouldn’t be swinging his bat but if he can play with a little more maturity, it would be great,” he added.
Pant will return to action in the upcoming rescheduled Test against England in Birmingham which starts on July 1. The team has already arrived in the UK and begun its preparation under the watchful eyes of head coach Rahul Dravid.
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