Young budding cricketer Rishabh Pant has been going through a tough time in the last few months. He has been at the receiving end of criticism from his opponents. His careless shots and some of his bold attempts made him lose his place in the test side. If he doesn’t chip in with a big-knock sooner, it will affect his career prospects.
He has the support of the team management, which should do his confidence a world of good. Now all that counts for him are the runs he scores at crucial stages in a match.
Dinesh Karthik could be the top pick for keeping wickets in the upcoming T20 World Cup. There is also a chance for five more players who could come in place of Pant.
1. Ishan Kishan
Ishan Kishan is a key choice for replacing Rishabh Pant. Rishabh Pant and Ishan Kishan have opened for the U19 Indian team in the 2016 World Cup. Kishan has been making headlines ever since with his power-packed performances for Jharkhand and the Mumbai Indians.
Kishan would get offered something similar to what Pant does, making him a like-for-like replacement. He is good at keeping the wickets and is a handy batsman in the middle order. He can also open the innings, which is his usual batting position in the domestic circuit.
His performances have been improving over the last 12-14 months and it seems likely that he may be picked up by the selectors soon.
2. Shivam Dube
Shivam Dube’s exceptional talent could come in handy for the Indian side in the coming years. He doesn’t precisely fit into the boots of Rishabh Pant as a wicket-keeper-batsman, but he is a fast-bowling all-rounder, who plays a pretty aggressive brand of cricket, with both the bat and the ball.
Royal Challengers Bangalore picked him in the last season’s auction, but he failed to make his mark. His performances for the Mumbai domestic side have been exceptional in recent years and he made a decent comeback in the recent Vijay Hazare campaign.
It won’t be easy for Shivam to make it into the squad because Hardik Pandya is already available in that category of cricketers. But he could be the first-choice replacement for the Baroda all-rounder in case of any contingency.
3. Sanju Samson
A name that has been doing rounds in the Indian domestic circuit for a good half-a-dozen years, Sanju Samson was rated very highly in his early years. His exploits with the Rajasthan Royals earned him quite a lot of praises and credits, but he was never considered seriously for the Indian side.
One great advantage for Samson is the humongous experience he has garnered in a very short period. Despite being around for more than six seasons in the IPL, he’s just 24 years old. With India’s number four spot being a worry, he could be the solution if he begins to perform well.
4. Nitish Rana
Nitish Rana made his mark first in the Indian Premier League, where he got an opportunity to bat at number three by the Mumbai Indians. The Delhi batsman showed great mettle and courage and eventually pulled off some outstanding performances for the side.
He later moved to the Kolkata Knight Riders and has been performing well in recent times with the bat. As he was Delhi’s highest run-scorer and wicket-taker in the Vijay Hazare trophy, it makes him a serious contender for India’s squad.
Although he has not received a single call-up yet from the Indian side, he definitely can prove his worth during this time.
5. Suryakumar Yadav
Suryakumar Yadav is a promising Mumbaikar who was once called as the Indian AB de Villiers for his outrageous shot-making. Suryakumar Yadav has performed well in a couple of seasons for his former franchise, the Kolkata Knight Riders. He played some good knocks coming down the order for Mumbai in the Vijay Hazare Trophy as well.
Suryakumar brings with him a lot of experience. He is a decent choice as a middle-order batsman. He definitely can score runs when it matters the most. He repaid the trust the Mumbai Indians had reposed in him by playing a stellar knock in the Qualifier 1 against Chennai Super Kings.
There is a lot on the line for him and some other major names and it will be interesting to see how things pan out in the coming months.