Former cricketer Virender Sehwag has hit out at the India team management for not playing Rishabh Pant in the New Zealand series.
Sehwag has also said that it is wrong if Pant is not being given a clear message by the team management, comparing his situation to how senior players like him had found out from the media that then captain MS Dhoni thought they were slow fielders.
“Rishabh Pant has been left out how will he score runs? If you bench Sachin Tendulkar also, even he won’t score runs. If you feel he’s the match-winner why don’t you play him? Because he’s not consistent?” Sehwag said during a Cricbuzz talk show.
He added, “During our time, the 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.”
‘Talk in team meeting and in press conference were different’
Sehwag then referred to the 2012 tour of Australia, a series in which the top three of Sachin Tendulkar, Gautam Gambhir and himself were being rotated.
“When MS Dhoni said in Australia that the 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,” Sehwag said.
“It might happen (they playing together,but) it would affect our fielding in a big way,” Dhoni had said publicly back then.
Pant, who has dropped down the pecking order ever since he suffered a concussion in the recent ODI series at home against Australia, is in the squad currently taking on New Zealand, but is yet to get a match. Both KL Rahul and Sanju Samson have been preferred ahead of him in the ongoing series.
Often criticised for his temperament, Pant has found a backer in Sehwag, who had also faced similar criticism in his playing days, before upper cutting and humming his way to many cricket records over the years.
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