Vijay Shankar vs Rishabh Pant: Veteran India off-spinner was recently vocal about India’s much-discussed No. 4 position vs Afghanistan.
India opening batsman Shikhar Dhawan getting ruled out of the tournament has seen wicket-keeper batsman Rishabh Pant replacing him in the squad.
Been included in the squad behind Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Dinesh Karthik and Lokesh Rahul, Pant has become the fourth wicket-keeper batsman in the Indian team.
Having said that, the 21-year old cricketer hasn’t been selected because of his wicket-keeping skills but because of his knack of taking the game away from the opposition in limited time.
Vijay Shankar vs Rishabh Pant
Citing the same, there have been several suggestions of Pant being included straightaway into the side in place of all-rounder Vijay Shankar for India’s next match against Afghanistan at Southampton.
In a recent interview with India Today, veteran India off-spinner Harbhajan Singh was vocal about the same. Being asked about picking one out of Shankar and Pant, Harbhajan expected the team management to continue with Vijay Shankar despite him being able to play the big shots in the last match against Pakistan.
Jasprit Bumrah’s got no mercy… even for his own batsmen 😱😱😱… He struck Vijay Shankar with a yorker yesterday pic.twitter.com/2EAlg7gXHP
— ESPNcricinfo (@ESPNcricinfo) June 20, 2019
“I will stick to the same combination. Obviously, [Mohammed] Shami will come in for Bhuvi [Bhuvneshwar Kumar] but apart from one, I don’t see anyone else coming in and disturbing your combination.
“Most definitely [Shankar ahead of Pant]. He was your first-choice. He has done well in the previous game against Pakistan. You can’t let someone else come and take his place just because he came into the team,” Harbhajan was quoted as saying.
On power-hitting in ODIs
The 38-year old cricketer also believes that the Indian team is adept enough to continually post 400+ totals in ODIs. Trusting the likes of vice-captain Rohit Sharma and all-rounder Hardik Pandya, Harbhajan opened up on Indian players having it in them to break England captain Eoin Morgan‘s record of 17 sixes in one match against Afghanistan.
“I think we have got players who can hit as many sixes [Morgan’s record tally of 17]. If Hardik Pandya gets going, he can get more than that. Rohit Sharma, who has hit 3 double hundreds, can do it. We have enough players who can take us to 400. And 17 sixes, easy,” Harbhajan said.