'If you feel Rishabh Pant is a match-winner, why don’t you play him?' - Virender Sehwag slams Indian team-management

‘If you feel Rishabh Pant is a match-winner, why don’t you play him?’ – Virender Sehwag slams Indian team-management

Even on Friday when India played the fourth T20I against New Zealand, Pant did not get a chance in the eleven despite the series already decided in the favour of Men in Blue.

Virender Sehwag. (Photo by Money SHARMA / AFP)

Former India opener Virender Sehwag took a dig at Virat Kohli and the Indian team management for leaving out Rishabh Pant from the playing eleven. The legendary batsman came down hard on Kohli, saying that he doubts whether the India skipper even talks to his players. Of late, Pant has fallen down the pecking order in the limited-overs team.

It all started when the under-performing youngster suffered a concussion while batting in the first ODI against Australia last month. KL Rahul was then asked to don the wicketkeeping gloves and he managed to impress as wicketkeeper-batsman. Since then, Rahul has been persisted as the wicketkeeper in the team while Pant is warming the bench.

Even on Friday when India played the fourth T20I against New Zealand, Pant did not get a chance in the eleven despite the series already decided in the favour of Men in Blue. Unimpressed with the turn of events, Sehwag said that the communication needs to be clear within the team management when a player is dropped after being touted as the next big thing.

“Rishabh Pant has been left out how will he score runs? If you bench Sachin Tendulkar also, he won’t be able to score runs. If you feel he is a match-winner, why don’t you play him? Because he is not consistent?” Sehwag questioned during a Cricbuzz talk show.

“During our time, captain used to go and talk with the player (in question). Now I don’t know if Virat Kohli does the same or not. I am not part of the team setup. But people say that when Rohit Sharma went to Asia Cup as captain, he used to talk to all the players,” he said.

Recalling the past:

In order to back his claim, Virender Sehwag also recalled the infamous rotation policy of former skipper, MS Dhoni, during the tour of Australia in 2011-12. Dhoni had infamously said that Sehwag, Sachin Tendulkar and Gautam Gambhir were being rotated at the top of the order because they are slow on the field.

“When MS Dhoni said in Australia that top three are slow fielders, we were never asked or consulted. We got to know from the media. He said at the press conference but not at the team meeting that we are slow fielders.

“Talk at the team meeting was that we need to play Rohit Sharma who is new and that’s why there will be rotation policy. If the same is happening now, that’s wrong,” added Sehwag.