Salman Butt, a former captain of Pakistan, has criticized Shikhar Dhawan, the captain of India, for favoring Rishabh Pant over Suryakumar Yadav during the team’s recent trip to New Zealand.

In both the T20Is and ODIs, Rishabh Pant should have batted significantly lower than Suryakumar Yadav, according to Salman Butt, but Shikhar Dhawan chose to start him as the opener in the shortest version of the game.

Notably, Rishabh Pant has received criticism for his limited-overs performance despite being the only Indian wicketkeeper batter to reach the century mark in South Africa, England, and Australia in the game’s longest format.

The left-hand attacking hitter struggled to get going in the T20I and ODI series against New Zealand, which ended on Wednesday. As a result, he finished the tour with only 42 runs in four innings across the two formats. In his four innings in New Zealand, Rishabh Pant scored a disappointing 10, 6, 11, and 15 runs.

“He’s (Pant) a flashy player, plays with a lot of freedom but he hasn’t been able to deliver the kind of performance that was expected of him in the current (New Zealand) series. He should have scored more runs. But I didn’t understand why he was batting above Suryakumar Yadav.

You are playing an out-of-form batter in place of someone who is in the form of his life and is playing his best cricket. The in-form player should play more overs. He’s the No.1 batter and you are sending him below an out-of-form player,” Salman Butt said about Shikhar Dhawan’s decision on his YouTube channel.

“I don’t know what’s going on. This can impact an in-form player. I don’t know whether this was the case here or not but a batter who is in the form of his life would want to play more deliveries,” he added.

“I would choose to open in T20Is, number 4-5 in ODIs and in Test I’m batting at 5. Yes, the game plan changes when you’re batting lower down the order but at the same time you have to bat where the team wants you to. There’s no need to premeditate in ODIs, only in T20s you need to premeditate,” Salman Butt elaborated.

Despite Rishabh Pant’s recent struggles with the bat, India captain Shikhar Dhawan and coach VVS Laxman are eager to continue using the southpaw because they see him as a match-winner.

It’s not that difficult. He played the one-day matches in England and scored a century there, much as Rishabh did. A player who scores 100 also receives support. The big picture is considered at every step.

You must support the match-winning player if there is one. Shikhar Dhawan gave this explanation during the post-match news conference after the third ODI of the series was canceled due to bad weather and the Kiwis went on to win the series 1-0. “A decision is taken after analyzing a number of variables,” he said.

Of sure, Sanju is succeeding greatly. He has performed well in all of his opportunities, but sometimes a player has weight even when they are performing well since the player before has been performing well. Given his talent, we can conclude that Pant will win matches. When he isn’t performing, a certain amount of cushioning needs to be provided. So that player gets that cushion,” Shikhar Dhawan concluded.

Giving them opportunities and keeping them informed when they aren’t chosen are key. It’s crucial to support Pant because he has been performing effectively at No. 4, recently scoring a critical century at Old Trafford.

As VVS Laxman noted in an interview with Prime Video, “T20 cricket has given batters more confidence about clearing the grounds regardless of how large the outfields are. They also work a lot with the range-hitting. Even Virat Kohli’s former coach Rajkumar Sharma criticized Rishabh Pant for his subpar batting performance.

“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,” Rajkumar Sharma said during a discussion on India News.

“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,” Rajkumar Sharma summed up.

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