India's young wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant was dropped from the limited-overs squads for the side's upcoming tour to Australia. Pant had been a part of the squad until India's last limited-overs assignment before the COVID-19 break (against South Africa in March), but failed to find a place for the Australia series.
Former Indian cricketer Virender Sehwag, however, has said that he is not surprised at Pant's omission from the squad. The youngster lost his place in the playing XI to KL Rahul towards the beginning of 2020.
“It was not surprising that Pant was not included,” Sehwag said on Cricbuzz.
“On the last tour, he was not part of the playing XI despite being fit. KL Rahul had performed well as a wicketkeeper and he was used as the regular wicketkeeper in the limited-overs series, and Rishabh Pant was kept out.
“It might have been a way to send a message to Rishabh Pant that he needs to change his style of play. He would keep losing his wickets, and he doesn’t finish off games, and he needs to learn to finish games. If he does not do that, he would not be given chances.”
Sehwag further likened Rahul's selection to that of Rahul Dravid and advised Pant that he needs to be more consistent -- adding that the youngster has the capability to return to the limited-overs setup.
“During our time, Rahul Dravid was used as a wicketkeeper because we did not have a good keeper till MS Dhoni arrived. So, we used Dravid as a keeper because he would be used as an extra batsman in the team,” he said.
“But here Rishabh Pant is good keeper, but the way he gives away his wickets, Kohli and Ravi Shastri might not be pleased with him. Only Rishabh Pant can make this change - he needs to finish off games in every opportunity he gets. He needs to prove himself that he has the capability to return to the Indian team.”