Harbhajan Singh Feels MS Dhoni’s Presence Helped Rishabh Pant In Auckland T20I
The youngster Rishabh Pant once again impressed with his batting performance during the Auckland T20I on Friday (8 February). Harbhajan Singh feels that MS Dhoni’s presence helped the young man to make full utilise the opportunity.
Chasing down the 159-run target to level the T20I series, the Indian openers Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan provided a solid start. After their dismissals, Rishabh Pant played a vital knock to guide the visiting side to a comfortable victory. In that crucial moment, the 21-year-old left-hand batsman scored an unbeaten 40 runs off 28 balls (four boundaries and one six).
Rishabh Pant and MS Dhoni had a 44-run unbroken partnership for the fourth wicket, which comfortably led the side to the victory. In the end, MS Dhoni remained not out on 20 runs, but Harbhajan Singh feels that the former Indian captain helped the young man to finish the game properly.
After that game, Harbhajan Singh told Aaj Tak, “Rishabh Pant made full use of his opportunity today and batting with MS Dhoni.
“When he hit a few casual shots, Dhoni walked up to him and explained what he needed to do. After that he played safer shots, down the ground and hit only the balls which were there to be hit.”
Harbhajan Singh believes that Rishabh Pant can be India’s X factor for the upcoming World Cup.
The off-spinner added, “Every opportunity will take Pant closer to the World Cup squad, especially if he continues to keep scoring like this. I fell he has that X factor which India will need in the World Cup. Pant is someone who can change games.”
The bowlers should get the credit for the win
After India suffered a hammering 80-run defeat in the first T20I of the series at Wellington, India easily won the Auckland T20I by seven wickets and has levelled the series by 1-1 with one match to go. Harbhajan Singh feels pleased with this big victory.
He quoted, “It is very big win for India and with that the series is also level at 1-1. It is great sign and I feel overall India played good cricket. There was improvement from the previous T20I.”
The off-spinner feels that the Indian bowlers should get the credit for the victory. He also praised the Player of the Match award winner Krunal Pandya who had the bowling figures of 4-0-28-3.
Harbhajan Singh said, “In my opinion, the bowlers should get the credit for the win. The way they bowled.. Krunal Pandya made a brilliant effort.”
I have run out of adjectives to praise Rohit Sharma’s batting
Rohit Sharma provided a brilliant start for the team, and it helped the visiting side to win the game freely. The stand-in skipper had a 79-run partnership with the opener Shikhar Dhawan and scored 50 runs off 29 balls (three boundaries and four over-boundaries). Harbhajan Singh lauded on Rohit Sharma for his batting as well as his captaincy in the Auckland T20I.
The senior off-spinner said, “Rohit Sharma’s innings was spectacular.. he batted really well. Must give credit to Rohit Sharma for his batting as well as his captaincy. There was lot of improvement in the team from the previous game, the bowling changes were spot on and the bowlers themselves did their job perfectly.”
“I have run out of adjectives to praise Rohit Sharma’s batting. He doesn’t get affected by pace, there was swing as well today and there was bounce too. Rohit batted masterfully and gave India the perfect start.”
Harbhajan Singh is confident that India will maintain this performance in the final T20I of the series.
He said, “Now the series is becoming fun as it level. India will play cricket like this in Hamilton and win the series 2-1.”
On Sunday (10 February), New Zealand and India will meet in the final T20I of the series at Hamilton. As the series is currently 1-1, the Hamilton T20I is going to be the series decider.
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