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T20 World Cup 2022

Ishant Sharma: Rishabh Pant can win you games single-handedly – he has that kind of impact

by Wisden Staff 3 minute read

Ishant Sharma believes that if Rishabh Pant gets a chance in this T20 World Cup, he will win games of cricket for India by himself.

Pant is currently out of the India team and behind Dinesh Karthik in the pecking order to take the gloves. The left-hander, who played one of the most famous innings in Test history when guiding India home against Australia at the Gabba and is known as one of the most exciting batters in world cricket, has a surprisingly modest record in T20Is. In 62 matches, he averages 24.02, but it is his strike-rate of 127.45 that is of greater concern and far behind his domestic T20 strike-rate of 145.28.

Karthik, on the other hand, has a T20I strike-rate of 145.98 and in 2022, it has been even higher at 149.72.


Nevertheless, Ishant argues that should Pant come into the side, he has faith that the mercurial wicketkeeper will be able to make an impact.

“If Rishabh gets a chance to turn a game on its head, he will do it,” Ishant wrote for Betway. “He can win you games single-handedly. He has that kind of impact.

“We have seen in international cricket that when his team is five wickets down, he will still play his shots and carry on in the same fashion as always. He is never too afraid to play the way he plays.”

Despite Pant’s absence, he remains one of the most watchable players in the sport. And after two low-striking years in the IPL in 2020 and 2021 where his strike-rate was below 130 in both years, this season he struck at 152, suggesting a return to Pant at his best in the shortest format.

“Every bowler is under pressure against him because he doesn’t think about what the situation is,” said Sharma. “He just backs his talent. He could have a very big tournament because he won’t let the pressure get to him.”

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