Christchurch: India's left-handed wicketkeeper-batter Rishabh Pant, who has been under huge scrutiny due to low scores in white-ball cricket, believes that his record in limited-overs cricket is not that bad, as compared to his numbers in red-ball cricket.
Pant, 25, has been far from his best in limited overs cricket this year. In T20Is, he has scored just one fifty against the West Indies in February. In ODIs, he hit two fifties and a hundred, an unbeaten 125 against England in Manchester in July.
"Record is just a number, my white-ball record is not that bad either," a miffed Pant replied to Harsha Bhogle ahead of the the third and final ODI against New Zealand.
When Bhogle said he was merely comparing his red-ball and white-ball records, Pant disagreed with the comparison. "Comparison is not a part of my life, I'm just 24-25 so you can compare once I'm 30-32. There's no logic in comparing before that."
Asked about his preferred batting positions across all formats, Pant remarked that he would prefer to open in T20Is, while choosing to bat in the middle order in ODIs and Tests. In Wednesday's third ODI against New Zealand, Pant was out for just 10 off Daryl Mitchell off the pull for the second time in the series.
In the preceding T20I series, he had scores of six and 11 as an opener after the first game was washed out. During the Men's T20 World Cup, Pant made three and six after being brought into the playing eleven at the expense of Dinesh Karthik.
"I would like to open the batting in T20Is, and in ODIs, I would like to bat at No.4 or 5. In Tests, I am batting at No.5 only. Obviously, the game plan changes when you are batting at different positions."
"But at the same time, the coach and captain think about what is best for the team and where the player can contribute the most. Wherever I get the opportunity, I will try to do my best."
Quizzed about the importance of pre-mediation, Pant commented, "It's mostly in T20s, not in white-ball cricket (that one has to premeditate). There's no real need to premeditate in one-day cricket but you have to in T20s."
Later on, Interim India head coach V V S Laxman said to the broadcasters that Pant has to be backed in future scheme of things.
"He (Pant) has been doing well at No.4, not too long ago he scored an important century at Old Trafford and it is important to back him."