Warne opines about Rishabh Pant opening with Rohit Sharma: The legendary cricketer wants India to try a unique combination at the top.
India’s upcoming series against Australia will be their last international assignment before the much-awaited ICC Cricket World Cup 2019. In a bid to put their best foot forward in the world event, the Indian selectors will be looking to give more chances to a few rookie players.
One name which is expected to entice a lot of pondering is that of wicket-keeper batsman Rishabh Pant. While some former players want in India’s squad for England trip later this year due to his X-factor, the others have spoken against him perhaps due to lack of experience in the format.
Pant can play as a specialist batsman
In a recent interview with India Today, former Australia leg-spinner Shane Warne was vocal about the 21-year old cricketer mentioning that he can play alongside former India captain and current wicket-keeper batsman Mahendra Singh Dhoni as a specialist batsman.
— Rishabh Pant (@RishabPant777) February 13, 2019
— Ashish Kumar (@ashish_kumar101) February 6, 2019
“There has been talk if Rishabh Pant can play in the side. I think Dhoni and Pant both can play. I can’t see why Rishabh Pant can’t play as a batsman, he is outstanding,” Warne was quoted as saying.
Open the batting with Pant
In what came as an astonishing statement, Warne went on to say that India could probably open the batting with Pant and vice-captain Rohit Sharma. The legendary cricketers believed that such a move has it in it to surprise the opposition.
“Maybe even open the batting with Rohit Sharma. I know Shikhar Dhawan does a great job but Rishabh Pant opening the batting with Rohit Sharma could be pretty cool too for India. Go with some of these X-factor type things and tactical battles, where you surprise the opposition,” he said.
— Soham_dutta18 (@Dutta18Soham) February 12, 2019
India will need reserves in 3 cases:
1. Injury: Somebody from India will fly. For 1 or 2 games Pant/Rayudu/Kohli
2. Poor Form: I don’t think this should or will happen, given how everyone regains form in #CWC
3. Rest: For this you can prepare Rishabh Pant or Rayudu
— A man living on Earth® (@CricextOfficial) February 13, 2019
Dhawan could bat somewhere else
India will play Australia in two T20Is and five ODIs with the first T20I to be played on February 24 at Visakhapatnam. Before concluding, Warne suggested that the selectors could use the ploy against Australia in the home series to see how Pant does against the new ball.
“It could be worth throwing Rishabh Pant at the top of the order for a couple of games and see how he goes. Maybe against Australia now and experiment and see how he goes for the World Cup.
“Dhawan may have a role to play somewhere else. But I am really looking forward to seeing what India have because they have a lot of players who can do a lot of roles,” Warne concluded.
It is worth mentioning that in his short career, Pant has never opened the batting at the highest level.