Former India batsman, VVS Laxman feels that Rishabh Pant will add immense strength to India’s T20 line-up in the finisher’s role as he bats with alacrity from the outset of his innings.
In the wake of his thunderous batting form, Pant has been recalled to the T20 team for the upcoming series against England having last played a T20I in January 2020. The left-hander was benched for the entire 5-match series in New Zealand and was then dropped for the T20I series in Australia – KL Rahul replaced him as the wicket-keeper meaning India could play another all-rounder.
However, now the 23-year-old returns to the side, and as Laxman points out, the team has been heavily dependent on Hardik Pandya’s finishing for the last couple of years and Pant will relieve the pressure off the right-hander.
“It is going to be a big series for him and his addition will strengthen the finishers in the Indian team. Over the last 1-1.5 years, we are overly dependent on only Hardik Pandya.
“Jadeja comes at No.7 but he plays cameos but if there is one batsman in that Indian batting lineup who from the first ball can play those big shots, it is Hardik Pandya,” said VVS Laxman while speaking with Star Sports.
“Rishabh Pant, with the kind of form and maturity with which he has batted in the Test matches, I think he will be a match-winner. We have seen him play under pressure for the Delhi Capitals and win matches,” he added.
I just hope that they don’t judge him by one or two innings: VVS Laxman
The 46-year-old cricketer-turned-commentator reckons Pant should be given a longer rope in the T20Is even he doesn’t perform well against England as he should be in the scheme of things for the T20 World Cup later in the year at home.
“We know as a left-hand batsman he gives that option where the opposition captain can feel the heat once he gets going. I think he is a great addition. I just hope that they don’t judge him by one or two innings because if you are keeping in mind the World Cup, give him a long rope and once he has that security we know that he can win matches just by himself,” VVS Laxman further stated.
The 5-match T20I series versus Eoin Morgan’s teams begins on 12th March; all the games will be played at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad.