Former Indian wicketkeeper Parthiv Patel believes Rishabh Pant could play purely as a batsman in the upcoming fourth Test against Australia at the Gabba, scheduled to start on January 15. Parthiv’s comments came just a day after Rishabh Pant’s stunning knock on the fifth day of the third Test at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG).
Coming in to bat at number five when India were reeling at 102 for 3 while chasing 407, the southpaw turned the game on his head with his impressive knock of 97 off just 118 balls. His blistering knock included 12 fours and three massive sixes. The way Rishabh Pant was batting, it looked like he might take India close to an unlikely win before the game eventually ended in a draw.
Impressed with his performance, Parthiv believes the wicketkeeper-batsman could play purely as a batsman in the upcoming Test. Speaking to Cricbuzz, Parthiv explained why he feels playing Rishabh Pant as a pure batsman in Brisbane makes complete sense. He also said veteran Wriddhiman Saha should play at the Gabba as Team India’s wicketkeeper.
“There is no doubt in the fact that he (Rishabh Pant) can definitely play as a pure batsman, and we might even get to see that in the next Test match. The way in which he has batted, the way he has carried himself and showed his character, I feel there is a strong case in Tests that Wriddhiman Saha plays as a keeper, and Rishabh Pant plays as a pure batsman,” Parthiv Patel said.
“I am insisting that Rishabh Pant should bat at No.5 because then you have a left-hander in the middle-order. So if Ajinkya Rahane bats at No.4, Rishabh Pant bats at No.5, and whoever is available bats at No.6, with Saha coming in at No.7. So a left-hander in the middle-order forces the bowlers to change their line and lengths. Thus this makes much sense,” he added.
Meanwhile, the four-match series is currently locked at 1-1 and the upcoming Test would decide the fate of the series. A draw will see India retain the Border-Gavaskar Trophy while a loss for them will see Australia regaining the famous trophy for the first time since losing it in 2017.