Dinesh Karthik Explains Why Rishabh Pant Should Open In T20Is

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Left-handed batter Rishabh Pant has not had a good outing in the shortest format of the game off late and one can put down his poor performances to lack of clarity in terms of his role. The maverick batter has not had a settled batting position and he has found himself going in and out of the lineup. In the T20 World Cup, Pant just played two matches — one against Zimbabwe in Super 12 and one against England which was the semi-final.

Now, India wicketkeeper-batter Dinesh Karthik has also made a case for Pant to be allowed to open the batting in the shortest format of the game.

“We know one thing for sure, Rishabh Pant’s ability to play shots. And when the field is up, he can go gung-ho in the powerplay so we can give him the opportunity to open. Interestingly, stats also reflect that his strike rate is highest when he opens. He likes the field up, he likes to take on bowlers and put them under pressure,” Karthik told Cricbuzz.

“I think it will be very interesting to see where they bat Rishabh Pant. Big question for Team India is how they will be using Rishabh Pant and I think we will be seeing him at the top of the order and trying to give him enough balls to showcase his skills. He is second to none when it comes to stroke play and has baffled a lot of international bowlers of high pedigree. We need to embrace the fact that there will be a few failures from him, but when he gets going, he is a terrific player to watch,” he added.

Further talking about Pant, Karthik said: “I think Rishabh Pant has sealed his spot in Test cricket and to a large extent in ODI cricket as well. In T20s, he bats in a different position for his franchise and comes in a different spot in the Indian team and they are trying to figure out where to fit him.”

“When you have Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav and Hardik Pandya, where do you fit in a Rishabh Pant? We do need a left-hander, but where do we play him? We know what Kohli does at No.3. Let’s not even talk about Suryakumar Yadav, he’s the best in the business in the world. Immediately we come down to Pant at No.5. Do we want him to bat there or let’s see if we can give him the opportunity to open,” he added.

Pant is currently a part of India’s T20I squad for the series against New Zealand. The left-handed batter is also the vice-captain for the series.

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