Not in favour of opening with Rishabh Pant, utilise him in the middle order: Reetinder Sodhi
"I am not saying Pant cannot play the new ball, but India have better options for the top order," said Sodhi.
Updated - Aug 1, 2022 6:34 pm
Former India all-rounder Reetinder Sodhi is not in favour of making Rishabh Pant the openers for India in T20Is as he reckons that the southpaw is a pivotal player in the middle-order. Pant was made to open the innings twice recently in the shortest format, but the strategy was unsuccessful.
The wicketkeeper-batter opened for India in T20Is during the England series, where he could only manage scores of 26 and 1. Commenting on the failed experiment, Sodhi said that Pant’s role is not to partner Rohit Sharma, but be a game-changer in the middle order of the team.
You can better utilize him in the middle overs: Reetinder Sodhi
“I am not in favour of Rishabh Pant opening. He is India’s pivotal player. India need him when the game gets tight in the 15th-16th over. You can better utilize him in the middle overs. He can take on the spinners and seamers as well,” Sodhi said on India News.
“I am not saying Pant cannot play the new ball, but India have better options for the top order. Ishan Kishan must open in all the four remaining games,” he added.
India have been experimenting a lot in the shortest format in the last couple of months as part from Pant, the team management also made Suryakumar Yadav open in the first T20I against the West Indies recently. Nonetheless, Yadav did live up to the expectations to a certain extent as he scored 24 runs off 16 deliveries.
It now remains to be seen whether Pant would once again be asked to open the innings or will he continue to play at his usual batting number as the countdown to the T20 World Cup 2022 begins. The Men in Blue face West Indies in the second T20I at Warner Park, Basseterre, St Kitts on Monday, August 1. The Rohit Sharma-led side is already 1-0 up after an emphatic 68-run win in the series opener.