Rishabh Pant Responds to Wahab Riaz’s Criticism Before India-Pakistan Clash

Ahead of the much-anticipated India-Pakistan showdown in the 2024 T20 World Cup in New York, Indian cricketer Rishabh Pant indirectly responded to former Pakistan selector Wahab Riaz. Riaz had questioned India’s decision to bench Pant during the 2022 T20 World Cup, which had sparked quite a debate among cricket fans and experts.

Rishabh Pant Vs Wahab Riaz

Wahab Riaz’s Comments

During the 2022 T20 World Cup, Rishabh Pant was left out of India’s playing XI for the crucial match against Pakistan, with Dinesh Karthik playing instead. Wahab Riaz, commenting on this decision, had said, “Rishabh Pant is India’s best wicketkeeper-batter since MS Dhoni. He even has hundreds in England and Australia. If he was in the Pakistan team, would he sit outside in a World Cup match? No chance. India kept him out for Dinesh Karthik. They know Pant is a good player who will score a lot of runs but he can’t be a finisher. At that specific number, they need a finisher. Pant might hit a couple of sixes but if he fails to finish the game, India will lose. That’s the way to go.”

Rishabh Pant’s Response on ‘Aap Ki Adalat’

Rishabh Pant addressed these comments indirectly during his appearance on the popular TV news show ‘Aap Ki Adalat’ hosted by Rajat Sharma. When asked about Riaz’s remarks, Pant responded:

“When you play for India, you feel proud to represent the country and don’t even think about representing any other country.”

This statement highlighted Pant’s pride and commitment to playing for India, regardless of the challenges and decisions made by the team management.

Pant’s Recent Form

Since his return to cricket in IPL 2024 after a car accident in December 2022, Rishabh Pant has been in excellent form. In IPL 2024, he scored 446 runs in 13 innings at a strike rate of 155.40, including three half-centuries. This performance marked a strong comeback for the left-handed wicketkeeper-batter.

Performance in T20 World Cup 2024

Pant continued his form in the 2024 T20 World Cup. In India’s opener against Ireland, he scored an unbeaten 36 off 26 balls, including a six that guided India to victory. He also impressed in a warm-up game against Bangladesh, scoring a quickfire 53* off 32 balls, showing his ability to perform on the international stage after his long hiatus.

Historical Performance

Pant’s performances in previous T20 World Cups have been mixed. In the 2022 T20 World Cup, he scored three and six against Zimbabwe and England, respectively. In the 2021 edition, he had scores of 39, 12, and 27* in his three innings.

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