VVS Laxman suggests Rishabh Pant to partner Hardik Pandya as the finisher for the 2021 T20 World Cup

VVS Laxman suggests Rishabh Pant to partner Hardik Pandya as the finisher for the 2021 T20 World Cup

Team India didn't pick Pant in any of the T20Is which they played in 2020

Rishabh Pant
Rishabh Pant. (Photo Source: Twitter)

The year 2021 would be a crucial year for the Indian team and Virat Kohli. The ICC World T20 will be played in the country and as the hosts, they will start as the favourites. In a recent interaction, former Indian batsman VVS Laxman talked about some key aspects on which the team needs to focus in order to win the tournament. 

The Indian team’s performance in T20Is lately has been good. With a bunch of players coming in from the IPL, the team has done well. In 2020, they whitewashed New Zealand 5-0 away from home and also won the T20I series in Australia later in the year. Laxman said that he feels India depends heavily on Hardik Pandya when it comes to finishing matches. 

After MS Dhoni’s retirement, India has looked at Pandya to turn up as a finisher and the Baroda player hasn’t disappointed so far. During the Australian tour, he played some crucial knocks in the ODIs and T20Is to cement his place at no.6. Laxman suggested that India need someone to share the responsibility. 

Apart from Hardik Pandya, I don’t see anyone else who can play that finisher’s role: VVS Laxman on the current T20I team

“As far as the T20 World Cup is concerned, the balance of the squad is very very important. There are two areas where India really requires firepower. Number one is the finisher. We depend overly on Hardik Pandya. Apart from Hardik Pandya, I don’t see anyone else who can play that finisher’s role,” said VVS Laxman during Star Sports’ show Cricket Connected. 

The former batsman further suggested that KL Rahul is someone who is batting in the top order and the Indian team can try Rishabh Pant in the middle and use him as a finisher. In the Australia T20I series, Manish Pandey, Shreyas Iyer, and Sanju Samson also played but none of them could produce an innings to remember. 

“Yes, there is KL Rahul, he is getting an opportunity but in T20s it is more top of the order. So, will they draft in Rishabh Pant who is a left-hand batsman and can play the big shots and finish off the innings well with Hardik Pandya,” the 46-year-old added. 

Laxman also pointed out that the team needs to fix a death bowler who can partner Jasprit Bumrah. T Natarajan, who made his debut in Australia, has been a revelation for the Indian team. Bhuvneshwar Kumar has been the first-choice to partner Bumrah for the last couple of years but Laxman suggested Kohli to fix one player to share the responsibility with Bumrah. 

“And in the bowling department, who along with Bumrah can bowl those death overs. We have got options in Natarajan or Bhuvneshwar Kumar. But that is one area in the bowling department which Virat Kohli requires to address,” concluded the former Indian batsman.