‘Agar Pant Pakistan Mein Hota Toh…’, Wahab Riaz Eye-opener Statement For Indian Wicketkeeper

Due to Shan Masood being the only middle-order batsman who has consistently been able to offer some resistance, Pakistan has almost been eliminated from the current T20 World Cup. As a result, the team is now dependent on other outcomes, mathematical calculations, and the need to win all of the remaining games, but even that may not be enough. The 1-run loss to Zimbabwe only made matters worse for them after they were defeated by India on the last ball.

The middle-order, captain Babar Azam and his attitude, and team selection have all received harsh criticism from previous Pakistani athletes. Wahab Riaz, another former pacer, recently stated that Pakistan should take a cue from India and choose players based on their performances and current form rather than their reputations.
Wahab Riaz said, “Agar aapka system strong hoga, toh ye baatein nahi hogi. Strong kaun karta hai? Jo hold karta hai. Ek selection ka process ye hai ki chaahe vo Amir ho, ya Umar Gul, ya Shoaib Akhtar ya Sohail Tanvir hai, agar aapko criteria diya hai domestic cricket ka… agar usme vo perform karte hain, vo fit hai, toh unko khelna chahiye (If your system is strong, people won’t complain. There should be a selection process; for example, no matter if it’s Amir or Umar Gul or Shoaib Akhtar or Sohail Tanvir, if your criteria is to judge domestic performances, you have to see whether they’ve performed there or not. If they have, and if they are fit, they should play.)”

Riaz continued to clarify his point by using the Indian team as an illustration. The team benched players like Rishabh Pant to balance their lineup and made room for finishers like Dinesh Karthik. Karthik was performing well at No. 6, so the Men in Blue decided to go with that option. Pant, who is India’s top option with the gloves in all three formats, was unable to replicate his Test-match form in limited overs, especially the T20s.

According to Riaz, a player like Pant would never have missed a World Cup game if he had lived in Pakistan.
Riaz went on to explain what he meant, “Iska misaal hamaare padosi mulk me hai. Rishabh Pant, India ka best wicketkeeper-batter MS Dhoni ke baad, jisne England aur Australia me sau kiya. Agar vo Pakistan me hota, vo Kabhi bahar baithta World Cup me? Nahi bath. India ne usko bithaya, Dinesh Karthik ki jagah. Kyun? Unko pata hai Pant cricketer achha hai, but at that particular number, unko finisher chahiye. 2 chhakke maar lega, par agar match finish Nahi Karega to ham haar jaayege. That’s the way to go. (I’ll give you an example from India. Rishabh Pant is India’s best wicketkeeper-batter since Dhoni, he has hundreds in England and Australia. If he was in Pakistan, would he sit outside in a World Cup match? No chance. India kept him out for Dinesh Karthik. They know Pant is a good cricketer, but they also know that they need a finisher. That’s the way to go).”

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