World Cup 2019: Virender Sehwag responds to the prospect of Rishabh Pant opening the innings

World Cup 2019: Virender Sehwag responds to the prospect of Rishabh Pant opening the innings

Rishabh Pant, who wasn't in the preliminary squad, was roped in as a replacement for Shikhar Dhawan.

Virender Sehwag
Virender Sehwag. (Photo by Ash Donelon/Man Utd via Getty Images)

India made a significant change to their line-up in Sunday’s fixture against England, bringing in Rishabh Pant to replace the all-rounder Vijay Shankar. Shankar, the designated No.4 batter in the team was struggling to cope with the pressure of expectations and eventually failed to deliver. Skipper Virat Kohli at the toss said that the Tamil Nadu cricketer had a “toe niggle”, however,  was most likely sacked after three consecutive failures with the bat.

Pant, who wasn’t in the preliminary squad, was roped in as a replacement for Shikhar Dhawan. His dream finally came true on Sunday and with KL Rahul suffering an injury while attempting a catch he could open the innings for India. Before the game started, there were a lot of people asking for Pant to open and making Rahul bat at number four.

While that sounds an attractive option, former Indian cricketer Virender Sehwag reckons he is not yet ready. Having said that, he feels Pant could become a sensational opener in the times to come and said that the team should give him more time before making him bat up the order.

“He (Pant) will open, but after five years, for sure. Because in Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit, India have the best openers, in the world. And they are both like…32. Therefore, after five years, where they will turn 37, Pant can become an opener and he will thrash everybody,” Sehwag said while talking to ICC media.

Bairstow’s hundred put England in driver’s seat

Jonny Bairstow smashed his first World Cup hundred having missed out once before in the tournament. Jason Roy too played a terrific hand on his comeback from injury and registered his 16th half-century in ODI cricket. The duo added 160 runs for the first wicket in just 22.1 overs before a sensational catch from Ravindra Jadeja dismissed Roy.

Bairstow kept going nevertheless and completed his hundred. He looked in some trouble after getting to the 100-mark and eventually threw his wicket away after scoring 111 runs off 109 balls. Mohammed Shami soon removed English skipper Eoin Morgan as well which now keeps the game very much in the balance.