Legendary Indian cricketer, Sunil Gavaskar reckons that all-rounder Hardik Pandya and wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant would become an explosive combination for India in the lower order in the upcoming five-match T20I series against South Africa. Gavaskar pointed out that the Indian team can score almost 120 runs in the final six overs if Hardik and Pant get to bat at No.5 and 6.
After the completion of IPL 2022 on Sunday, the focus now shifts to the upcoming five-match T20I series between India and South Africa at home starting June 9. The series will mark the return of Hardik to the national side, who scored 487 runs at 44.27 for Gujarat Titans and played a vital role in their title win in their debut season. On the other hand, Pant, who led Delhi Capitals, is India’s first-choice wicketkeeper for the series and scored 340 runs at a healthy strike rate of 151.79 in the IPL 2022.
During a recent chat on Star Sports, Sunil Gavaskar said, “I think he’ll probably be slotted at five or six. Just imagine, if India has a Hardik Pandya and a Rishabh Pant at five or six. They can probably swap around a little bit — that is going to be some explosive combination from the 14th to the 20th over.”
He further added, “In six overs, you can probably expect even maybe 100-120 runs. They are capable of doing that. So, that’s going to be an exciting aspect. That’s something I’m really looking forward to — Rishabh Pant and Hardik Pandya batting at five or six.”
Team India will be assembling in New Delhi on June 5 ahead of the five-match T20 series against South Africa. There will be no crowd restrictions and there will be no bio-bubble for the series, though players will be tested regularly for COVID-19. The other venues are Cuttack (June 12), Visakhapatnam (June 14), Rajkot (June 17), and Bengaluru (June 19).