Rishabh Pant continues to face the heat after yet another poor outing, in the T20I series decider against the West Indies, at Mumbai on Wednesday. But on the eve of Sunday's first ODI against the Windies at Chennai, the team management has thrown its weight behind the wicketkeeper-batsman and defended the decision to keep trying with the struggling player.
"The reason why we keep discussing him is because, he has got immense ability and everybody believes that he can be an x-factor in any team and in the Indian team as well," batting coach Vikram Rathour said in the pre-match press conference here on Saturday.
Pant, 22, has so far played 11 Tests, 12 ODIs and 26 T20Is, scoring 754, 229 and 409 runs respectively. But since replacing legendary MS Dhoni as India's first-choice stumper in the limited-over formats, the Delhi player has failed to impress.
"He has been backed by the selectors and the team management because all of us believe that he is a good player... Once he starts getting runs, I am sure, he will be a massive player," he added.
In the T20I series decider in Mumbai, which India won by 67 runs, Pant lasted just two balls. He was promoted to the number three with the skipper sacrificing his spot to allow the under-fire player to give another chance to prove his worth.
Rathour also said India are the chasers in the world and he is happy with the team's performance in the third T20I.
"I think we are the number one team in the world when we are chasing targets. (When you are) batting first, you need a different kind of fearlessness. When we are chasing targets, we know the target and plan our game plans better," he said.
"The way we batted in the last game, I think that was one big tick in the box and we are looking forward to maintaining that," Rathour added.
The first ODI between India and West Indies will be played at Chennai on December 15.