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Harsha Bhogle Revealed The Real Reason Why Rishabh Pant Opened The Innings

Harsha Bhogle Revealed The Real Reason Why Rishabh Pant Opened The Innings: The new era management of Rohit Sharma and Rahul Dravid sent everyone in a state of frenzy when they sent out swashbuckling batsman Rishabh Pant as an opener alongside Rohit Sharma the second ODI against West Indies on Wednesday in Ahmedabad.

Even though KL Rahul was back in the line-up, after missing the first ODI due to personal reasons, the management decided against opening with Rahul who replaced Ishan Kishan, who had opened in the first match in absence of Shikhar Dhawan after he was down with covid-19.

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This promotion to Pant took the fans by surprise since Pant had never opened in an of his 91 international innings before today. Pant had, however, batted at the top during the 2016 under-19 World Cup when he smashed 78 runs off 24 balls against Nepal under-19. However, there is a huge difference in doing it at the under-19 level and senior level.

KL Rahul

Pant had batted at number 4 in the South Africa ODI series and in the first ODI. However, today, Rahul took the slot and the 24-year-old left-hander was partnered with Sharma at the top.
Whether this move with Pant as an opener is a one-off till Dhawan returns or the management will continue with it will be seen in the coming series.
However, renowned commentator Harsha Bhogle explained that making a surprising call of Pant opening to play KL Rahul at number 4 is a long-term thought by the Sharma-Dravid management.
“Very interesting that with KL Rahul available, India have chosen to open with Pant. Tells me that there is a move towards looking at Rahul at no 4, where his numbers are good, as a long term option,” Harsha Bhogle tweeted.

As Bhogle pointed out, KL Rahul’s numbers in the middle-order role are good. Rahul has batted in the middle-order – numbers 4, 5, and 6 – in 17 of his 41 ODI matches, and averages impressively 52 with 4 fifties and a couple of centuries.
KL Rahul
Rahul had also gone into the 2019 World Cup as a middle-order batter when Dhawan and Sharma were the first-choice openers. However, Shikhar Dhawan was ruled out due to an injury mid-tournament then and Rahul was promoted at the top. Not as far as last year, in March, Rahul scored a hundred against England in Pune while batting at number 4 when Dhawan and Sharma opened.
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Jatin Khandelwal

Hi, I am Jatin Khandelwal. Cricket writing came accidentally for me with an undergrad engineering degree. With opportunities first as a freelancer and then full-time, and experience with time, I have grown in the role. The Cricket Lounge is a place where I can thrive with the best of my abilities.

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