Former India batsman VVS Laxman said that wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant will have to live up to the time the team management has given him and Sanju Samson can replace him if he does not achieve the rhythm soon.
Laxman said that Sanju Samson’s selection in the three-match T20 series against the West Indies was a “strong message” for Pant to either perform or be ready to be dropped.
Laxman said, “The team management and selection committee have given a strong message to Samson in the team that we have a choice.” Rishabh Pant has got a lot of opportunities and I am sure the team management would have talked to him.
He said, “The player has to vindicate the confidence of the team management and selection committee.” The former artistic batsman said, “Unfortunately Pant is not up to that confidence, but he has the ‘X’ factor.” I still believe that he is a great batsman who can turn the match after playing big shots after coming into the field.
Until recently, Pant was the team’s first choice as a wicketkeeper in all three formats but because of poor form, the experienced Wriddhiman Saha replaced him in the Test team.
Laxman said, “As a batsman, he seems confused, he is under pressure.” You have seen many times when he plays in full flow he has a different mindset and technique against the spinners. I think he will be under a lot of pressure to keep his place in the final 11. ‘
The former forty-five-year-old batsman said that Pant would still be the first choice in place of Samson as the wicketkeeper-batsman before next year’s T20 World Cup, but Mahendra Singh Dhoni might also return by then. Dhoni has been away from competitive cricket since they eliminated the Indian team in the semi-finals of the World Cup in England in July this year.
After South Africa and Bangladesh, Dhoni will no longer be a part of the limited-overs series starting against the West Indies from December 6.
Laxman said about Dhoni’s future, “I think Dhoni will watch Pant and Samson’s performance with patience.” I think whenever he gets a chance after the IPL, he will decide about retirement, Dhoni is preparing himself for the IPL. I am confident that he will do well, as he has done in the past while leading Chennai Super Kings. ‘
He said, “If both these young players cannot cash in on the chances then maybe Dhoni can be thought of. For this, they have to show the rhythm in the IPL before the World Cup.