‘Chalk and Cheese’: A stark contrast to Rishabh Pant’s batting of red and white ball cricket

Test cricket has always been seen as the most difficult form of success, and it is also assumed that if anyone can hit hard in red ball cricket they can repeat the same as a white ball, but this is not the case with the wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh pant.

From time to time, with his thrilling strikes, Pant has proven to be a “special” talent and can change the course of a match or sometimes even a finely balanced streak in a session or less with a counterattack approach.

However, the same Pant appears to be a completely different player in the white ball formats (ODI and T20I) and is quite confusing as one would think that his natural stroke play is tailored to the game’s shorter formats. If we compare the left hand scoring in Test cricket with that of the white ball formats, it will be like chalk and cheese.

The Wikipedia hitter came under fire in India’s recent white ball series against South Africa. Nevertheless, the 24-year-old produced an unforgettable performance in difficult England conditions, scoring 146 of 111 balls in the first innings and 57 of 86 deliveries in the second innings of the Edgbaston Test against England.

BANT’s recent tournaments have reignited the controversy once again over his failure to emulate his demos in the shorter formats.

So far, the Uttarakhand-born cricketer has scored 2,123 in 31 Tests, with a strong average of 43.3 and a healthy strike rate of 72.66. His brilliant experimental career also features five centuries and 10 half centuries. Interestingly, most of the hundreds came in different parts of the world – England, Australia and South Africa – which are tough for visiting hitters.

In the ODIs, he has 715 runs in 24 games, an average of 32.50 and a hitting average of 109.32 along with five 50s, making his 50-plus record perfectly fine. But, in the T20Is, Pant has scored just 741 points in 48 games, with a poor average of 23.15 and most important – his batting average – is also only 123.91, which is quite odd considering his ability to play free-flowing kicks.

His T20I numbers certainly give the impression that Pant is certainly not the most destructive hitter in the shortest form of the game. The batting average is less than 25 and the batting average is around 125 probably doesn’t do justice to his “special” talent.

Pant, who delighted and disappointed his fans, almost equally, proved to be of the highest standard in Test cricket and left the selectors with no choice but to pick him as India’s first choice wicketkeeper. But in white ball cricket, time is sure to run out.

With a plethora of wicket-keeping options in Ishan Kishan, KL Rahul, Sanju Samson and Dinesh Karthik, the Delhi Capitals captain will have to play some winning strikes in India’s upcoming white ball series, or else it will be tough for him to reach the T20 World Cup in Australia.

Was his arrogance overpowered? Is there any technical flaw or mental hurdle – nobody is quite sure, what is Pant’s disease in T20 cricket. However, a few patterns certainly emerged.

Whether it was during the T20I series against South Africa or at the IPL 2022, on most occasions Pant threw his share away when things were going well for him and his team. And the most frustrating thing for fans was that the hitter was trapped in the same way.

Bant was certainly aware of his mistakes, but his inability to come up with a counter plan is also troubling and surprising because southpaw has an excellent selection of two strokes in his bunkers. Given the youngster’s mentality and free-stroking approach to the challenges of modern cricket, many experts feel that no serious corrections are needed, but he does need to choose his shots well.

Whatever his flaws, Pant needs to find a way through in close coordination with head coach Rahul Dravid and batting coach Vikram Rathore as fans wish to see a better version of the ‘talented’ batter for better health of Indian cricket.


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