Offering an interesting assessment of India’s performance in the recently concluded One Day International (ODI) series against hosts New Zealand, Virat Kohli‘s childhood Rajkumar Sharma lashed out at one of the star performers of the Shikhar Dhawan-led side for his mediocre run in the limited-overs format. With veteran gloveman Dinesh Karthik making way for first-choice wicketkeeper-batter Rishabh Pant, power hitter Sanju Samson was asked to warm the bench for the better part of the New Zealand series.

Samson’s non-selection in the third and final ODI of the New Zealand series also sparked a massive debate on social media. While Samson was ousted from the playing XI, wicketkeeper-batter Pant failed to repay selectors’ faith in the third and final ODI of the bilateral series. Wicketkeeper-batter Pant scored 10 off 16 balls to complete a forgetful tour of New Zealand on Wednesday.

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Reflecting on Pant’s recent performances while speaking to India News Sports, Kohli’s childhood coach Sharma observed that the Indian management has given Pant a long rope. Recalling how batting icon Kohli backed the youngster during his memorable captaincy stint, Sharma claimed that the Indian southpaw has failed to deliver the goods in white-ball cricket.

“Rishabh Pant’s on-field performances have not been satisfactory at all. It is very unfortunate, as he has been given a long rope by the team management. We all know how Virat Kohli showed great faith in Pant during his captaincy. And even after that, he kept on getting many chances. While he has done quite well in red-ball cricket, he has failed to deliver in white-ball cricket,” Sharma said.

Sharma feels Pant should return to domestic cricket in the wake of his lean patch. After a series of forgetful knocks in New Zealand and Australia (World Cup), Pant will hope to return back to scoring ways in India’s upcoming assignment against Bangladesh. “There is no harm in going back and playing domestic cricket when you are not in form. It is always better to work on your basics if you can see that you are struggling in terms of stroke-making. He should play domestic cricket and then make a comeback to the national side,” Kohli’s childhood coach added.



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