VVS Laxman: Rishabh Pant Can Change The Course Of A Match With His Power Hitting

Rishabh Pant Can Change The Course Of A Match With His Power Hitting: VVS Laxman

Rishabh Pant
Rishabh Pant-- File Photo: PTI

VVS Laxman believes Rishabh Pant’s batting position should be defined by the number of overs remaining considering the dashing wicketkeeper-batter’s match-winning abilities.

Rishabh Pant walked into bat at the No. 4 position during India’s run chase in their first T20 World Cup warm-up encounter against England. The southpaw smashed an unbeaten 29 off only 14 deliveries, including 1 four and 3 sixes to see his team across the finish line, chasing a stiff 189.

Rishabh Pant (Photo Source: Disney+Hotstar VIP)
Rishabh Pant (Photo Source: Disney+Hotstar VIP)

VVS Laxman: Rishabh Pant Can Change Course Of A Match With His Power Hitting

While reviewing the India-England warm-up encounter on Star Sports, VVS Laxman was asked if Rishabh Pant should continue to bat at No. 4 ahead of Suryakumar Yadav.

He responded: “I feel No. 4 is the right position for Suryakumar Yadav. Rishabh Pant can start at No. 5 but if two or three wickets have fallen around the 13th or 14th over, then Rishabh Pant can go and bat. I will pay more attention to the overs because Rishabh Pant is a batter who can change the course of a match with his power hitting.”

VVS Laxman. (File Photo: IANS)
VVS Laxman. (File Photo: IANS)

The former India cricketer added that game-changers like Rishabh Pant and Hardik Pandya need to be promoted based on the match situation.

VVS Laxman explained: “So I will send Rishabh Pant in as soon as 14 overs are done. Batters like Rishabh Pant and Hardik Pandya who can play the big shots and play the role of a finisher, showing that flexibility is extremely necessary.”

VVS Laxman was also happy that Rishabh Pant and Hardik Pandya had provided the finishing touches to India’s run chase. After KL Rahul’s 51 and Ishan Kishan’s 70, Rishabh Pant and Hardik Pandya(12*) remained unbeaten as India managed to cross the 189 run target in the penultimate over.

“I feel 40 runs were required off the last four overs and you can see a similar situation in the main round of the World Cup, so it was a proper warm-up match as you saw the challenges you will see in the main round.”

Rishabh Pant and Hardik Pandya are expected to play the finishers’ role for Team India. However, the latter has not been at his best lately, and the Indian team will hope that he regains his touch before the actual tournament begins.

VVS Laxman: No. 3 Is The Right Position For Virat Kohli

VVS Laxman was also asked about Virat Kohli’s decision to bat at No. 3.

He replied: “I feel it is the right position for him because you have experienced opening batsmen in KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma. And the way Ishan Kishan is batting, I am feeling that he is going to force the team management to play him in the playing XI but No. 3 is the right position for Virat Kohli.”

Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli (BCCI)

Virat Kohli, who batted at No. 3 in yesterday’s warm-up encounter, scored 11 runs off 13 deliveries. However, he wasn’t at his fluent best and will hope for a longer hit in the middle during the second warm-up match against Australia.

Earlier, England managed to score 188/5 after Jonny Bairstow’s 49 off 36 balls and Moeen Ali’s cameo of unbeaten 43 off 20 balls as Indian pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar(4 overs, 54 runs, 0 wickets) was taken to the cleaners. Mohammed Shami conceded 40 runs despite picking 3 scalps. For England, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood, Chris Jordan, Moeen Ali, and Adil Rashid were too expensive as all of them conceded 10 runs per over or more.

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