When Rishabh Pant made his first-class debut in October 2015, Sanju Samson had already stepped into the international arena, playing the T20 match against Zimbabwe the same year in July. Four and a half years down the lane, the 22-year-old Pant has played 11 tests, 15 ODIs and 28 T20Is, but not again has Samson managed to break into India’s playing eleven.
While Samson had been fairly consistent with his IPL performances, Pant outclassed him in the last two seasons with his explosive batting. In 2018 IPL, Pant amassed 684 runs at an average of 52.61 and a scarcely believable strike rate of 173.60. His 2019 season with Delhi Capitals was also brilliant for him, as he scored 488 runs at an average of 37.53 and a strike rate over 160.
Samson’s performances on the other hand were not bad at all. He has two IPL centuries under his belt, and an overall average of 27.61 and a strike rate of 130.24 in the Indian Premier League. Mentored by Rahul Dravid, he has played many crucial knocks for Rajasthan Royals in the tournament.
The rumours before the World Cup 2019 was that MS Dhoni would retire from international cricket after the tournament. The selectors also seemed keen to give more chances to youngsters than to the 38-year-old Dhoni.
Although the ex-Indian captain hasn’t announced his retirement, he hasn’t played a match after India’s World Cup semi-final loss against New Zealand in July 2019. He was also not part of any of the Indian squads announced after the World Cup.
What worked for Pant was the fact that he peaked at the right time. Considering his last two stupendous IPL seasons, the selectors hoped Pant to be the right person to take up India’s wicket-keeper mantle. The left-handed batsman used to instil fear in the opposition minds with his aggressive stroke making, something which Dhoni was also famous for. When Wriddhiman Saha took a break from cricket due to an injury, Pant also got a chance to play the longer format of the game in Indian jersey.
Being good was not enough for Samson.
Pant’s poor run in the recent games
But is Pant capable of carrying Dhoni’s legacy forward? The Delhi lad’s international stats belie his talent. He averages just 20.5 in T20Is from 28 matches. His ODI performances till date also have not been up to the mark – In 15 matches, he was able to cross the fifty run mark only once. Although Pant averages over 44 in test matches, he was eventually replaced by Saha after a series of poor scores.
It is to be noted that Saha didn’t replace Pant straight away after coming back from injury. He was benched initially, but Pant’s struggles with the bat gave opportunity to the 35-year-old Saha to get back to the only format he plays for India.
And he grabbed it with both hands. Saha’s exceptional wicket keeping was a talking point in India’s recent test series against South Africa and Bangladesh. Although he averages much lower than Pant in tests, Kohli seems to trust his hands behind the stumps more than Pant.
Pant’s rash stroke making, which was earlier his prime weapon, eventually turned out to be a cause of concern. Some irresponsible shots in some matches made critics question his temperament. Adding to that the fact that he was supposed to be the replacement of Dhoni – someone who rarely makes a careless move – pressure kept mounting on Pant.
He was stuck in no man’s land – whether to continue playing his natural game that gave him the repute he has or to get back into his shell and play more meticulous inningses. Low confidence led to his downfall – his clean bat-swing went missing, while wicket keeping became an area for mocking.
The crowd chanting “Dhoni.. Dhoni” whenever he missed a chance behind the stumps was the evidence the public wasn’t happy with the long run given to Pant, despite his poor performances.
Can Samson break in?
Samson hasn’t got many chances in the Indian colours, but he is definitely breathing down the neck of Pant. In the Vijay Hazare trophy last year, the Kerala wicket-keeper batsman smashed an unbeaten 212 against Goa in just 129 deliveries, becoming the sixth Indian to hit a List A double-century.
Samson’s sound technique and ability to pierce gaps and hit big shots had been on display on multiple occasions in the IPL. However, despite his performances, he hasn’t got many opportunities. He was part of the squad against West Indies but didn’t get a game. He is also part of the team for T20Is against Sri Lanka – with one match to go in the series, it seems unlikely that he will be getting a chance.
Pant has the backing of his Captain and the selectors. Many experts have come in support of Pant, asking the public to not put extra pressure on the young dashing batsman. BCCI president Sourav Ganguly recently said that “Pant is a special talent… and selection should be left to the selectors”.
Considering that Samson has not been included in the squad for the upcoming series against Australia, things look bleak for the Kerala lad. Selectors might be backing Pant to play the T20 World Cup, but it appears to be a tightrope walk now. Because if Pant fails to perform in upcoming series as well, Samson should be given adequate time to get used to playing in the high level games before becoming India’s first choice wicket keeper for this year’s World Cup. India shouldn’t be going to the tournament without a clarity on this front.
PM Modi joins fitness influencer Ankit Baiyanpuriya in Swachhata Hi Seva campaign | Watch here
Taking to X, formerly known as Twitter, PM modi shared a video of him doing the cleanliness work with the influnecer.
A day before Gandhi Jayanti, PM Modi participated with fitness influencer Ankit Baiyanpuriya in participated in the Shramdaan for cleanliness campaign as part of the Swachhata Hi Seva campaign.
Taking to X, formerly known as Twitter, PM modi shared a video of him doing the cleanliness work with the influnecer. Sharing the video he wrote, today, when the country focused on Swachhata, Ankit Baiyanpuriya and he did the same! Beyond only hygiene, they included wellness and fitness in the mix as well. It is all about that Swachh and Swasth Bharat vibe.
PM Modi can be heard asking Ankit in the video that how the Swachhata mission will benefit his physical health. Ankit responds, it’s up to us to maintain our environment clean. They’ll stay in shape if it stays clean.
Ankit added that Sonipat’s residents have been emphasising hygiene.
Fitness influencer Ankit Baiyanpuria, a former desi wrestler from Bayanpur, Sonipat, has earned notoriety for his advocacy of conventional and regional training techniques.
Ankit gained fresh notoriety earlier this year when he introduced the strenuous 75-day Hard Challenge to improve his mental toughness and self-control.
Ankit, who was raised by labourer parents, is well known on social media for his flawless training methods and distinctive routines that not only prioritise physical fitness but also encompass mental well-being with books like the Bhagavad Gita.
Ankit had to change his strategy in 2022 after dislocating his shoulder while participating in mud wrestling. He started documenting his fitness progress on Instagram.
He first learned about Andy Frisella’s 75-day Hard Challenge while learning fitness. In just 28 days, Ankit has accumulated more than 2.5 million followers! Ankit now has 4.9 million Instagram followers.
Leaders from all over the nation participated in the Shramdaan for Cleanliness session as part of the Swachhata Hi Seva campaign on Sunday after Modi urged citizens to participate in a cleanliness drive on October 1.
A number of Union ministers and MPs were spotted taking part in the nationwide cleanup effort for the Swachhata Hi Seva campaign, including BJP leader JP Nadda and Union home minister Amit Shah.
Uttar Pradesh: Differently abled woman dragged on road by police constables in Hardoi, investigation underway
SP Keshav Chandra Goswami added that the circumstances of the incident are being investigated and erring officers will be punished if they are proven guilty.
In a shocking incident, a differently-abled woman was dragged on the road by police constables at Hardoi, Uttar Pradesh. An investigation has been ordered into the matter after the video went viral across the social media platforms. Reports said that Superintendent of Police, Keshav Chandra Goswami took cognisance of the matter and directed a departmental enquiry into the incident.
The viral video that went viral across social media platforms showed a woman being dragged on the road by two police officers. The horrific incident took place outside the office of Superintendent of Police on Saturday. The video showed the woman being escorted by two police officers to the police station.
In the video, one woman officer is seen holding the woman by her leg and then being dragged along the ground towards the police station. While walking, the woman sat down in protest, following which the officers dragged her away.
Reports said that the woman is differently abled and has come to the SP’s office with a complaint after a dispute with her husband. However, instead of lodging her complaint, she attempted to climb the wall of the Superintendent of Police office.
The disturbing video highlights the high-handedness and coarse attitude of Uttar Pradesh police in dealing with the public. Speaking about the harrowing incident, SP Keshav Chandra Goswami added that the circumstances of the incident are being investigated and erring officers will be punished if they are proven guilty.
Hardoi police asserted that Shilpa Kumar has been assigned to address the woman’s complaint. They added that one of the woman police officials involved in the matter has been suspended. In addition, the two accused PRD policewoman, who are seen in the video, have been taken off duty and an inquiry has been ordered against them. Social media users have heavily criticized the behaviour of the police officials and called for immediate actions.
Swachhata Hi Seva: Home Minister Amit Shah cleans roads, participates in Shramdaan for Cleanliness program in Ahmedabad | Watch here
Prime Minister Narendra Modi urged citizens to take part in the campaign Ek Tareekh, Ek Ghanta, Ek Saath on October 1 at 10 am on the occasion of Gandhi Jayanti.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Sunday took part in the Shramdaan for cleanliness program under Swachhata Hi Seva campaign in Ahmedabad, Gujarat. Along with other leaders, the Home Minister can be seen cleaning a road in Ahmedabad. Beside Amit Shah, various political leaders from across the country joined hands and actively participated in the call for cleanliness drive by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The Prime Minister urged citizens to take part in the campaign Ek Tareekh, Ek Ghanta, Ek Saath on October 1 at 10 am on the occasion of Gandhi Jayanti. The initiative is a part of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan that conforms with Mahatma Gandhi’s vision for clean India.
Union Minister Piyush Goyal along with Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla participated in the Swachhata Hi Seva campaign in Kota, Rajasthan. On the other hand, Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde actively took part in a cleanliness drive in Mumbai and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath also participated in the Swachheta Hi Seva campaign in Sitapur.
On Saturday, BJP President JP Nadda and Union Minister of State for Culture, Meenakshi Lekhi took part in the cleanliness drive at Delhi’s Jawaharlal Nehru stadium. At the event, Meenakshi Lekhi slammed the AAP government and stated that they are not working regarding the segregation of waste. Union Minister Raj K Singh also participated in the Clean India drive in the national capital.
Meanwhile, Union Minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar took part in the campaign at Safdarjung Railway Station in Delhi. While participating in the campaign at Gurugram, Union Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw affirmed that a 14 minute clean-up protocol has been prepared for the Vande Bharat trains today and will be carried out at 35 places.
At the 105th episode of Mann ki Baat, PM Modi stated that a major cleanliness event is scheduled for October 1 at 10 AM.