India wrapped up the 3 match T20 series against the West Indies in convincing fashion as they coasted to a win in the third T20 in Providence to complete a 3-0 whitewash. The selectors decided to give a number of young IPL stars a chance to play the third T20 and they responded well.
R Pant who has been selected on the West Indies tour as the main wicket-keeper for the T20, ODI and test match series was under pressure after failing badly in the first two T20s. He played a fantastic knock (65) to remain unbeaten and take India to victory. Pant ended up hitting 4 sixes and 4 fours at strike rate of 154 to prove once more than he can be the ideal replacement once MS Dhoni retires.
Kohli Asks Fans To Be Patience With Pant
Indian fans were growing impatience with Pant’s lack of runs as he threw away a golden opportunity during the 2019 ICC World Cup semi-final to be a star. His two failures in the first two T20s put him under pressure as fans were wondering if Pant was ready to take over the gloves from MS Dhoni.
This innings will help silence some of his critics at least for some time. Captain Virat Kohli was at the crease during most of R Pant’s innings and was able to get in his ear and keep him grounded. Kohli played well and made 59 from 45 balls building a 105 run partnership with Pant.
During the post-match interview, Kohli said that Pant was disappointed after his failures in the first two matches but he did well at Providence because he applied himself better. The Indian captain also asked fans to be patient with Pant and give him time to settle down.
In a statement, Kohli said “At the international level, you need to tackle pressure differently and play yourself into the whole set-up. He has come a long way since he started. If he plays like this more regularly, we will see his potential shine for India.”
S Samson And W Saha Will Need To Wait
If Pant had to fail in the third T20, there would have been pressure on the selectors to look at other wicket-keeper batsmen. S Samson has immense talent and a good technique making him a great backup to R Pant in all three formats of the game while veteran wicket-keeper W Saha is the most likely replacement in the longer format of the game.