Former Indian wicket-keeper batter, Parthiv Patel has opined that the Indian team management needs to find a way to include Rishab Pant in the playing eleven, as the latter has the ability to change the game on his own. Pant wasn’t part of India’s lineup for their Asia Cup opener against Pakistan but he was included in the game against Hong Kong. The wicketkeeper didn’t get the chance to contribute with the bat on the day.
With KL Rahul struggling to score as an opener, many have suggested that Pant should open with Rohit Sharma. Speaking on Cricbuzz Live, as quoted by NDTV, Patel said that Pant is someone who can’t be warming the bench, as he is a player who can change the game on his own. He also said that the wicketkeeper has improved his game over the past year and should be included in the starting XI.
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Parthiv Patel explained, “You will have to create space for Rishabh Pant in the playing XI because he is one of those players who can change a game on his own. His performance has improved a lot in the past year and there should be space for him in the team.”
The former wicketkeeper also said that if Rishabh Pant comes into the XI, he should come in as an opener as it will give India a left-right opening combination. Patel said that no one is questioning the ability of KL Rahul, but since he is coming back from injury, there isn’t much time to fix something in the opening combination as the World Cup is just around the corner.
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Parthiv Patel elaborated, “I think if he comes into the team he should open because it will give India a left-right combination. No one is doubting KL Rahul’s quality but because of his injuries he has been out of action for some time and we are to close to the World Cup to have doubt about the (opening) combination.”