Wasim Jaffer contends Rishabh Pant’s recent run drought has turned him into the “missing link” of India’s middle-order batting.
According to the former opener Wasim, India may proceed to see batting collapses in the middle overs until Pant enhances his off-side play and understands to overcome fast-bowlers wide edges.
After 13 overs, India has been 128/2 against South Africa, glancing positioned to post a total of more than 200 in a must-win game. Two wickets fell for 20 runs in the next four overs, along with two dropped catches by Pant and Hardik Pandya.
Pant could not capitalize on the opportunity and will be out for six off eight balls, miscued a hoick off a straight slower-one to mid-off. India finished with a total of 179-5 in 20 overs.
Pant was in decent form before or during the Indian premier league, but he did not get many big scores. He is more important to the team because he is a left-hander who can bat anywhere around the batting order, which is critical given India’s recent major losses.
‘Rishabh Pant knows fast bowlers keep it wide against him’: Wasim Jaffer
In an interview with ESPNcricinfo, Jaffer refuted the conception that India possesses firepower in the middle order, claiming that Pant’s improved performance could be crucial. He said:
“No, it is not really like that. Pant’s absence of runs is the missing component of India’s batting, in my opinion. If Rishabh Pant performs until the 18th or 19th over, we might not see these. Rishabh Pant understands that fast bowlers maintain it wide against him and slow them down, so he needs to work on that.”
Jaffer continued, “So I believe Pant must now improve his performance. He is a crucial member of this group. He needs to recognize that bowling attack will try to bowl away from his eye-line, which will help him enhance his off-side game even more.”
India kept their five-match series against South Africa alive with a comfortable 48-run convincing victory in the third T20I here on Tuesday.
Pant and company will face South Africa in the fourth T20I of the five-match series on June 17 (Friday) in Rajkot.