Blow to head puts Pant in doubt for rest of ODI series against Australia

He has been diagnosed with concussion

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Wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant's participation in the remainder of India‘s ongoing ODI series against Australia is in doubt.

A short delivery from fast bowler Pat Cummins during Tuesday's first ODI struck Pant's helmet. He was eventually out for 28, but did not take the field for Australia's innings at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai.

“Rishabh has got a concussion after being hit on his helmet while batting. KL Rahul is keeping wickets in his absence. Pant is under observation at the moment,” read a statement from the Board of Control for Cricket in India.

India do not have another specialist wicketkeeper in the squad. The talented Sanju Samson, who was left out of the squad for the upcoming T20I series against New Zealand, might be added if Pant is sidelined for the rest of the series.

The Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Rajkot will host the second ODI on Friday. The third and final match will be played at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru on Sunday.

The 22-year-old Pant has played 15 ODIs since October 2018's debut. He has also collected 11 Tests – and famously struck 159 not out against Australia at the Sydney Cricket Ground in 2019. He also boasts a Test ton against England at The Oval in London.

Pant in the IPL

He will represent the Delhi Capitals (previously called the Delhi Daredevils) in the 2020 Indian Premier League. Delhi have never won the title.

“As an individual and a player I just want to focus on the process. People will say good and bad things but I just want to focus on my game. The team management has asked me to just calm myself down and improve myself in every factor,” said Pant amid public criticism late last year.

“There's nothing called a natural game and I need to play as per the demands of the team. Good players are those who play as per the demands of the team and situations.”

The Capitals' head coach is former Australian captain Ricky Ponting, who recently hailed Pant among the best T20 batsmen in the world. Ponting's praise came during a stint of television commentary for the 2019-20 Big Bash League.

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