Legendary batsman and former Indian cricketer VVS Laxman feels that Rishabh Pant’s batting position should be defined by the number of overs remaining to be played out in the innings considering the game-changing abilities and power-hitting strokeplay of the youngster.
Rishabh Pant walked out to bat at number 4 during India’s first warm-up match against England. He played a crucial role of 29* off 14 deliveries striking at over 200 in an unbeaten knock consisting of 3 sixes and 1 boundary.
Recently, speaking on Star Sports during the first warm-up match between India and England, VVS Laxman was asked if Rishabh should continue to bat number. 4 ahead of Suryakumar Yadav or not, responding to which Laxman said:
“I feel No. 4 is the right position for Suryakumar Yadav. Rishabh Pant can start at No. 5 but if two or three wickets have fallen around the 13th or 14th over, then Rishabh Pant can go and bat.”
He further said that Pant and Hardik Pandya need to be promoted based on the match situation. He said:
“I will pay more attention to the overs because Rishabh Pant is a batter who can change the course of a match with his power hitting.”
“So I will send Rishabh Pant in as soon as 14 overs are done. Batters like Rishabh Pant and Hardik Pandya who can play the big shots and play the role of a finisher, showing that flexibility is extremely necessary.”
Laxman also heaped praises on Rishabh Pant and Hardik Pandya for providing the finishing touches to India as they successfully carried out a 189-run chase at the ICC Academy Ground in Dubai. He said:
“I feel 40 runs were required off the last four overs and you can see a similar situation in the main round of the World Cup, so it was a proper warm-up match as you saw the challenges you will see in the main round.”
“I feel it is the right position for him because you have experienced opening batsmen in KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma. And the way Ishan Kishan is batting, I am feeling that he is going to force the team management to play him in the playing XI but No. 3 is the right position for Virat Kohli.”
Meanwhile, Pant and Pandya are expected to play the finishers’ role for team India at the ICC T20 World Cup. The Virat Kohli-led side will now be seen locking their horns against Australia in the second warm-up match today.