The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Monday announced the team for the T20 World Cup in Australia next month. Barring a couple of changes owing to injuries, India largely retained the same team that had sent for the Asia Cup tournament in the UAE earlier this year. And before India push for the final preparation for the World Cup with home series against Australia and South Africa, former India cricketer Wasim Jaffer made a never-heard-before suggestion to captain Rohit Sharma, pertaining to Rishabh Pant, with a MS Dhoni reference.
Rohit is considered one of the best openers in world cricket in white-ball format, having scored a plethora of runs and broken umpteen records. But that is not where the Indian skipper had started off his career at. Rohit was a middle-order batter when he broke into the scene before former India captain Dhoni took a gamble and pushed the batter to open alongside Shikhar Dhawan in 2013 Champions Trophy, and the rest is history.
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Jaffer wants Rohit to pull off a similar with Pant in the T20 World Cup but suggested that the captain should rather bat at No.4 for India, implying that the youngster would open with KL Rahul. Jaffer even added his batting line-up for the World Cup.
“I still think opening the inns is where we could see the best of Pant in T20. Provided Rohit is ok to bat @ 4. MS took a punt on Rohit before CT in 2013, and the rest is history. Time for Rohit to take a punt on Pant. KL, Pant, VK, Rohit, Sky would be my top five. #INDvAUS #T20WC,” he tweeted.
Pant was played as an opener twice in T20Is, both in the series against England earlier this summer, where he managed 27 runs in 20 balls, laced with four boundaries and a six. In IPL, he played as an opener in four innings for the Delhi franchise back in 2016. He had scored 104 runs in 76 balls at a strike rate of 136.8.
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