Rishabh Pant at six in England is one place too high: Nasser Hussain
Rishabh Pant has scored 580 runs while batting at number six for India in 12 matches.
Updated - Jul 20, 2021 3:53 pm
Former England captain Nasser Hussain believes, India wicketkeeper-batter Rishabh Pant coming in at number six position won’t be an ideal situation for the team in the seaming and swinging conditions on offer in England.
While the 23-year-old has been in a rich vein of form of late, Hussain feels the number six might not particularly work well during the five-Test matches starting from August 04.
The maverick wicketkeeper-batter’s prowess was there for all to see when he scored a counter-attacking unbeaten 89 at the Gabba Down Under. Since then, he has not looked back and, has been one of the vital members of team India, scoring crucial runs at number six and seven. But despite his prolific returns in the longest format, Hussain though has doubts regarding the southpaw batting at number six.
“Of what I have seen of India, if England can get a par score in the first innings, with the seam-bowling resources they have, then they should be confident. Rishabh Pant at six in England is one place too high. India will have to find a new opener as Shubman Gill has been ruled out and can they afford to pick Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin if the ball is moving around? If they play on flat, belting pitches they can,” Hussain told to Daily Mail.
Rishabh Pant set to join the team in Durham
Recently the 23-year-old was detected with COVID-19 on 8 July, but his recovery went well as he returned with RT PCR negative report. Also, Pant will soon join the Indian team, who are set to play a warm-up match in Durham. It seems unlikely though that the southpaw will feature in the game, but if the management feels if he has recovered fully, then Pant might play the first Test on August 04.
If Pant is still not fit, then India has a backup option in the form of Wriddhiman Saha and KL Rahul. While the latter will be safe pair of hands behind the stumps, the former can double as an opening batter for the team too. With Shubman Gill ruled out of the series, India might look at that option as well.