Former India pacer, Zaheer Khan believes that going forward Rishabh Pant will be a key player for the Indian team. Therefore, he opined that the management and the selectors should give an extended run to the left-hander.
Zaheer likened Pant to former Australia legend, Adam Gilchrist saying that the youngster is an X-factor in the lower order of the team. The 2011 World Cup winner feels that there are or have been very few players of the calibre and talent as Pant, hence the management should be very careful in making any decision regarding the 23-year-old.
“At No.6 or No.7, if you have a player like Rishabh Pant like Australia used to have a match-winner in Gilchrist, he also was an X-factor. Yes, such players may not give you the runs always, but the day they play they will score very quickly, so you can add that aspect to your team,” Zaheer Khan told Sony Sports Network.
“Every team does not have a choice to add such a player. You have the choice, whether you want to take it or not is where the opinion is divided. But such style of players do not come often, so they need to invest in him. I have always said that such players should be given more freedom,” Zaheer Khan added.
Rishabh Pant plays an impressive cameo at MCG:
Pant, who was omitted from the limited-overs squad made his maiden appearance of the tour in the ongoing Boxing Day Test after being out of favour for Wriddhiman Saha in Adelaide. Pant came in at a tricky situation when India were 4 down at the score of 116- still 79 behind Australia’s total.
However, the southpaw wasn’t going to be bogged down by the pressure. He played his shots and took the attack to Nathan Lyon and the Aussie pacers. With Rahane standing firm at the other end, Pant raced to 29 before edging a Mitchell Starc delivery to the wicket-keeper, Tim Paine.
India ended the day with a lead of 82 runs as Ajinkya Rahane notched up his 12th Test ton and he and Ravindra Jadeja will resume India’s fightback in the series on the third day.