Cricket News: India's decision to persist with Rishabh Pant is admirable, but his failures are mounting

    It's fair to say that, for quite a while now, Rishabh Pant's form in white-ball cricket has been the subject of intense scrutiny – and with good reason too

    Rishabh Pant's failures are mounting Rishabh Pant's failures are mounting

    Beyond that one hundred against England this summer, his form in general, whether it be ODI or T20I cricket, hasn't been up to par. 

    It's why, come to the T20 World Cup in October and November, the team management had no hesitation in playing an aging Dinesh Karthik ahead of him for the most part. 

    But with Dinesh Karthik out of the scheme of things, for the time being, the team are putting their faith in Rishabh Pant again – despite having the likes of Ishan Kishan and Sanju Samson in the squad. 

    On the one hand, it is admirable that the team have continued to stick with him through all the ups and downs. And there is a purely sporting reason that's happening too. 

    At his best, Rishabh Pant is a match-winner who can turn the game on its head single-handedly. He's demonstrated that time and again in Test cricket. 

    However, the format is vital here – Rishabh Pant is a proven match-winner in Test cricket. He hasn't proved his match-winning credentials in white ball cricket yet. 

    Thus, there are two arguments to be made regarding how the team should proceed in the future – neither of them is wrong. 

    The first is to drop Rishabh Pant and try out other options. A lot has been talked about giving players a long rope, but sometimes, that long rope can become a noose. 

    That has happened with Rishabh Pant, just as it has happened with KL Rahul – but more on him another time, maybe! 

    And it's not like India doesn't have options, either. Ishan Kishan, as mentioned above, and Sanju Samson are good options for the team. 

    Yes, the batting line-up may need a rejig, especially if the team decides to go with Ishan Kishan, who's best suited to batting as an opener. 

    But in the case of Sanju Samson, they can use him pretty much anywhere as a batsman, although he's not a southpaw like Rishabh Pant. 

    The other option is to stick with Rishabh Pant but give him a set batting position and stick with it. In recent times, he's struggled wherever he's been asked to bat – but he's also been asked to bat everywhere in the order. 

    He's played as a lower middle-order finisher in the number four slot he occupies for IPL franchise Delhi Capitals and has even been tried out as an opener. 

    Shuffling up and down the order helps no one, and if the team wants Rishabh Pant to succeed, the best option would be to give him one position and tell him to make it his own. 

    If that doesn't help, then dropping him in favor of Sanju Samson or Ishan Kishan would be the best course of action. But what is being done right now helps no one – not Rishabh Pant, and certainly not the Indian team.