I Really Hope Rishabh Pant Opens The Batting In New Zealand T20Is; Sanju Samson Is The Future Finisher For India – Robin Uthappa

Sanju Samson, Rishabh Pant
Sanju Samson, Rishabh Pant. (Photo: Twitter)

Former India National Cricket Team wicketkeeper-batter Robin Uthappa is hoping to see Rishabh Pant open the innings for India in the upcoming T20I series against New Zealand. The 36-year-old feels that the young wicketkeeper-batter will thrive as an opener in the shortest international format of the game.

On Monday, October 31, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) announced India’s squads for the series against New Zealand and Bangladesh. Senior players like Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli and KL Rahul have been rested for the New Zealand tour. Hardik Pandya will be leading Team India in the T20I series and Shikhar Dhawan has been appointed as the captain for the ODI series. The 25-year-old Pant has been named as the vice-captain for both ODI and T20I series.

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Robin Uthappa
(Image Credit: Twitter)

During a discussion on ESPNcricinfo, Robin Uthappa was asked if Rishabh Pant will open the innings for India in the New Zealand T20Is in the absence of Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul.

He responded: “Yeah, Absolutely and I really hope that Rishabh Pant opens the batting because I think that’s where he would really fit into that T20I squad and come into his own.

“Honestly, I think you gotta allow a player of his quality the room to thrive and give him where you believe he is gonna thrive and he might take a little time to adjust so be it.”

Rishabh Pant, Sanju Samson Are Special Players – Robin Uthappa

Sanju Samson-Rishabh Pant
Photo Credit: (BCCI)

Uthappa added that the wicketkeeper-batters Sanju Samson and Pant are special players and they need to be given long ropes. He also said that Samson will be the future finisher for Team India and he should bat at No.5.

He elaborated: “I think some players who are really special, you gotta give them that long rope. And I think he [Pant] and Sanju Samson are two such players where you just let them go and say ‘you’ve got the next year and a half go ahead play the way you wanna play, figure out how you gonna succeed here and what’s the best chance of you succeeding? so we’ll help you to prepare that way’ and I think Sanju Samson, the future finisher for India for sure, so him at No.5 is beautiful.”

During the same discussion, Tom Moody said that he would like to see Shubman Gill open the innings with either Pant or Ishan Kishan in New Zealand T20Is.

Rishabh Pant, Sanju Samson
(Image Credit: Twitter)

Meanwhile, the Men In Blue will lock horns with New Zealand in three-match T20I series and a three-match ODI series. The T20Is will be played on November 18, 20, and 22. The ODIs will be played on November 25, 27, and 30 respectively.

India Squad for New Zealand T20I Series: Hardik Pandya (C), Rishabh Pant (vc & wk), Shubman Gill, Ishan Kishan, Deepak Hooda, Surya Kumar Yadav, Shreyas Iyer, Sanju Samson (wk), W Sundar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Arshdeep Singh, Harshal Patel, Mohd. Siraj, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Umran Malik

Also Read: IND vs BAN: Rishabh Pant To Be Part Of India XI vs Bangladesh As Dinesh Karthik’s Replacement, KL Rahul Likely To Retain His Place

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