Ricky Ponting on Rishabh Pant: ‘Need him batting in last 4 overs every game’

Rishabh started the ongoing IPL with a thunderous 78 not out off 27 balls against Mumbai Indians. But his form has dipped since.
Rishabh Pant apparently has a similarity with Virender Sehwag. More than the geographic proximity – both are from Delhi – it’s about the early career paths of the two cricketers. When Sehwag made his ODI debut in 1999 — T20 didn’t exist then — he came with the reputation of being a marauder, with the purists questioning his ability for the long form. As it turned out, Sehwag became one of the all time greats in Indian cricket, defying convention and redefining Test match opening batsmanship.Given his natural aggression, it is widely believed that Sehwag somewhat underachieved in white-ball cricket. Make no mistake, with 8,273 runs and 15 hundreds, including a double century, in 251 ODIs, Sehwag had a fantastic career in the short-form as well. But his Test average — 49.34 compared to 35.05 in the ODIs — is far better. To allow Sehwag open the innings in the short-form, then India captain Sourav Ganguly had even moved to No. 3. Ganguly is now Pant’s team advisor at Delhi Capitals.
Pant is basically a product of the IPL and India U-19 one-dayers. And when the national selectors drafted him into the Test side for the England tour last year, eyebrows had been raised. An injured Wriddhiman Saha’s pain was Pant’s gain and the youngster grabbed the opportunity with both hands. In nine Test matches since August last year, Pant has scored 696 runs including two overseas hundreds. It earned him a Rs 5-crore, Grade A, central contract.
It’s just the beginning, but as of now the 21-year-old has failed to replicate his Test success in the shorter formats despite having a game that looks tailor-made for white-ball cricket.
He had a moderate T20I series in New Zealand followed by a couple of failures against Australia at home. In the two home ODIs against Australia also, when MS Dhoni decided to cool his heels, Pant failed to capitalise on his starts. The Mohali crowd booed him.