Rishabh Pant indirectly responds to Wahab Riaz’s 2022 T20 World Cup snub comment on Aap Ki Adalat

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Rishabh Pant indirectly addressed former Pakistan selector Wahab Riaz’s comments criticizing the Indian management for benching him during the 2022 T20 World Cup. Pant’s response came during an appearance on the popular TV show ‘Aap Ki Adalat’ ahead of the India-Pakistan clash in the 2024 T20 World Cup.

For context, Pant was not included in India’s playing XI for their last T20 World Cup game against Pakistan, with Dinesh Karthik taking his place instead. Here’s how the exchange unfolded:

Rajat Sharma, Editor-in-chief of India TV, posed a question to Pant: “Pakistani players seem to keep a keen eye on Rishabh Pant. Wahab Riaz mentioned that Indians benched you in the last T20 World Cup. He said if you were in Pakistan’s team, you would have certainly played.”

Pant responded: “When you play for India, the pride of representing your country overshadows any thoughts of playing for another nation.”

What did Wahab Riaz say during the 2022 T20 World Cup? “Rishabh Pant is India’s best wicketkeeper-batter since MS Dhoni. He has scored centuries in England and Australia. If he were in the Pakistan team, would he be benched in a World Cup match? Absolutely not. India sidelined him for Dinesh Karthik,” Riaz told News 24HD.

“They know Pant is a talented player capable of scoring heavily, but they don’t see him as a finisher. At that critical position, they need someone who can close out games. Pant might hit a couple of sixes, but if he fails to finish, India could lose. That’s their strategy,” he added.

Pant’s record against Pakistan in T20Is includes scores of 39 and 14. In the 2022 T20 World Cup, he scored three and six against Zimbabwe and England, respectively. In the 2021 edition of the ICC event in the UAE, he posted scores of 39, 12, and an unbeaten 27 in his three innings.

Rishabh Pant’s red-hot form since IPL 2024 Since his return in IPL 2024, Rishabh Pant has been in scintillating form. The left-hander amassed 446 runs in 13 innings at a strike rate of 155.40, including three half-centuries.

Recently, Pant scored an unbeaten 36 off 26 balls against Ireland in India’s 2024 T20 World Cup opener, sealing the win with a six. He also smashed a rapid 53* off 32 balls in a warm-up game against Bangladesh, marking a triumphant return to international cricket after a year-long break due to a car accident in December 2022.

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