Updated: Jan 17
How will Rishabh Pant's non-availability impact Team India in WTC 2021-23, ODI World Cup 2023 and Delhi Capitals in IPL 2023? Rishabh Pant likely to be away for at least six months. Who will be Delhi Capitals' captain in Pant's absence in IPL 2023?
India cricketer Rishabh Pant met with a car accident last month. He sustained serious injuries and his subsequent treatment is turning up more serious than anticipated. As per the latest report, he has torn three ligaments in his knee during the accident. Two of those ligaments have been reconstructed. However, the surgery to restore the third ligament in his knee is expected to be done after six weeks.
Pant is likely to be sidelined for at least six months. However, it might take him longer to get back to full fitness and be available for national selection. So, Pant is likely to be out for most of 2023. This results in Pant missing a series of marquee events. He is set to miss the Indian Premier League (IPL) where he captains Delhi Capitals (DC). He will also miss the World Test Championship (WTC) 2021-23 Final if India make the cut. Also, Pant is likely to miss the 2023 ODI World Cup that will take place in India in October.
Hence, Team India and Pant’s IPL team Delhi Capitals will have to replan their team combinations to compete in the respective tournaments.
India will sorely miss Pant, the Test wicketkeeper
It is the Tests that Team India and the management have to rethink their combinations in, as Pant was a vital cog in India’s batting line-up in the longest format of the game. For the first two Tests against Australia, India have included Ishan Kishan and KS Bharat as wicket-keeping options. While, Kishan is a like-for-like replacement for Pant hence, he might get more opportunities to prove himself in the longer version of the game.
Bharat has long been an understudy to Pant, but the latter’s heroics both home and away saw the former warm the benches all the time. But Bharat could soon make his Test debut, if India want to go ahead with more experienced wicket-keeper in first class cricket.
India’s wicketkeeper in ODIs & T20Is?
Team India is already looking ahead of Pant for the whole year, including the 2023 ODI World Cup. At the moment, India are betting on KL Rahul in ODIs as the wicketkeeper-batter who can do the finishing job in the middle order. Ishan Kishan remains the next keeper to take up the slot if Rahul is unavailable or injured or India
Here's Rahul’s performance at various positions in ODIs.
In Oct-Nov No 5
Another keeper who could give competition to Kishan, Bharat, Samson or even Rahul in the national squad is Narayan Jagadeesan of Tamil Nadu. He is making heads turn with his exploits in the domestic circuit. He was roped in by Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) for INR 90 lakh after plying his trade for Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in the last IPL season. A good IPL for KKR could see Jagadeesan’s stock rise ahead of the ODI World Cup.
Here is Jagadeesan’s record in domestic cricket so far.
Delhi Capitals will miss their captain
Delhi Capitals will miss the services of Pant terribly as he is not only their captain but a match-winner with the bat and gloves. In the absence of Pant, David Warner, who has captained Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) earlier, could lead Delhi but the Australian opener faces stiff competition for the job from Mitchell Marsh who has seen his stock rise after guiding Australia to their maiden World T20 title in 2021.
Also, Pant’s absence gives an opportunity to Indian batters such as Manish Pandey and Sarfaraz Khan to cement their place in the XI as Delhi would need their local talent to take more responsibility and not depend heavily on first-choice overseas batters in Warner and Marsh.