The Indian top order crumbled like a house of cards in their Super 12 match against South Africa. Pacer Lungi Ngidi picked up the wickets of openers KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma in quick succession as Virat Kohli too was caught out early in his innings. Rahul’s series of failures in India colours has made the case strong for Rishabh Pant to be included in the starting lineup.

Dinesh Karthik, the wicketkeeper-batter who had earlier proved crucial for the Indian team in crunch situations, has also not managed to impress with the bat this time around, having scored only six off 15 balls. 

Former World Cup-winning captain Kapil Dev had also called for Pant’s inclusion in the lineup, saying, “India need Rishabh Pant. If India had that left-handed option in the team, this team would look complete”.

Indian cricket fans on Twitter have already begun asking for Pant’s inclusion as well. KL Rahul is also receiving flak for his continuous poor show in national colours. 

One user blamed the BCCI for poor team selection (the board has no say in what the starting lineup should be):

Another Twitter user has said that Pant would have been crucial in giving the team “cushion both in middle overs as well as at death”:

However, Pant’s T20I record against South Africa is not that impressive. He has played against the Proteas on eight occasions so far, scoring only 109 runs at an average of 15.42