New Delhi, Oct 7: Young India wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant has been hogging the limelight with his batting exploits in the Test cricket and many believe that the 21-year-old should be a part of team's ODI set-up as well.
Pant has played 4 Tests after making his debut in Nottingham Test and has already scored a ton against England and followed it up with a brilliant 92 against West Indies. Impressed with the left-handed stylish batsman's aggressive brand of cricket and the ability to deal in sixes and puncture the hopes of oppositions.
Talking on the similar lines, former India pacer Ajit Agarkar has suggested Pant should replace veteran stumper MS Dhoni in the ODI format as the latter isn't able to live up to the expectations in the 50-overs format as well.
Dhoni's performance with the bat was questioned during the recently concluded Asia Cup when the 37-year-old failed on a couple of occasions despite coming in to bat at No. 4. Agarkar, who has in the past as well questioned the Ranchi cricketer's place in the limited-overs set-up, has once again suggested that the 21-year-old Pant should replace the former India captain.
Dhoni unlucky with the lbw decision against him, but must say he was struggling against the spinners all through his brief stay in the middle. Still searching for that uplifting, reassuring inning— Cricketwallah (@cricketwallah) September 25, 2018
"I can't believe Pant is not a part of India's shorter format setup," Agarkar told ESPNCricinfo. He also said that there is no harm in resting Dhoni if only to give the 21-year-old a chance.
"Hopefully they do that sooner, rather than later, against the West Indies in the ODI series. I mean, there are five ODIs and there will be an opportunity to play him somewhere in the middle order as a batsman or as a wicket-keeper. Everyone knows what Dhoni can bring to the side, and there is no harm in resting him for a couple of games," added Agarkar.
However, it remains pretty clear that the BCCI, as well as the team management, isn't in the mood to drop Dhoni at least until World Cup 2019 and any further step in this direction will be taken only after the World Cup.
Pant is yet to make his ODI debut for India although he's played 4 T20Is the Delhi-lad didn't look that effective. But it is also pretty clear that his talent couldn't be judged with just 4 T20I games and that his real potential could be tested only if he gets a long run in the 50-over format.