If Rishabh Pant is there in the side, it provides you with that X-factor: Suresh Raina

Raina cited the examples of Gautam Gambhir and Yuvraj Singh to back a struggling Pant for finding a place in India's playing XI in the T20 WC.

Rishabh Pant
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Rishabh Pant (Photo Source: Twitter)

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Veteran middle-order batter Suresh Raina has backed a struggling Rishabh Pant and reckons that his inclusion in the Indian playing XI can add a lot of variety in T20 World Cup 2022. Even though the southpaw has been performing consistently in Tests and One Day Internationals, he has been off-colored in the T20Is for the past few months.

At the same time, Raina also cited the example of two of Indian cricket's proven match-winners Gautam Gambhir and Yuvraj Singh as to how the dynamic duo had performed outstandingly well in the Men in Blue's 2007 T20 World Cup triumph in South Africa.

Being a left-handed batter gives you that advantage: Suresh Raina

"Dinesh Karthik has been in good form and he has given good performances. But if Rishabh Pant is there in the side, it provides you with that X-factor because he is a left-handed batter. We saw how Gautam Gambhir performed in the 2007 T20 World Cup. Yuvraj Singh had six 6s. Then in the 2011 World Cup, both of them played a big role. So I think, being a left-handed batter gives you that advantage," said Raina while speaking to NDTV.

"Rishabh knows how to hit 6s from the first ball. If he gets a chance, he will definitely do well," he added.

It remains to be seen whether Rishabh Pant will fit in India's playing XI for the marquee tournament owing to his inconsistent batting performances for a while in the shortest format. The team management could probably go ahead with veteran wicketkeeper-batter Dinesh Karthik as the first-choice stumper given his reputation with the bat as he has played some impactful knocks in the middle and death overs and has also established himself as a finisher.

India begin their campaign against arch-rivals Pakistan at the MCG on Sunday, October 23. They had beaten the defending champions Australia in the first warm-up fixture by six runs while their second fixture against New Zealand on Wednesday, October 19 was washed out due to rain.