Virender Sehwag on why Rishabh Pant was not picked in India’s ODI, T20I squads

“It might have been a way to send a message to Rishabh Pant that he needs to change his style of play. - Virender Sehwag

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The BCCI announced India’s squads for all three formats for the upcoming tour of Australia, which had its share of surprises. While Rohit Sharma was not picked for any of the three formats due to injury concerns, wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant was not selected in India’s limited-overs squad against Australia. While many believed that it was an unexpected decision by the selectors, former India opener Virender Sehwag said he was not surprised by Pant’s omission.

“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,” Sehwag said.

“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.”

During the 2018-19 Border-Gavaskar Trophy, Pant had scored 350 runs including a century. Sehwag further recalled how Indian team would use Rahul Dravid as a wicketkeeper option before MS Dhoni’s arrival because it gave them an extra batting option.

“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.”

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