The stylish southpaw Rishabh Pant was expected to be the future for Indian National Cricket Team across the formats. However, he couldn’t quite deliver the goods as expected, which saw him being out from the ODI side. Meanwhile, the former Indian fast bowler Ashish Nehra believes Pant can make things fall in place during ICC World Cup 2019.

Rishabh Pant made his ODI debut against Windies back in October and didn’t quite live up to the expectations. He found it tough to time the leather and subsequently, was left out of the ODI series against Australia and New Zealand. Meanwhile, Ashish Nehra feels he would be an X-factor for the team.

Rishabh Pant is a pure match-winner – Ashish Nehra

Ashish Nehra gave quite a few reasons to play Rishabh Pant in the ICC World Cup 2019. Firstly, he feels that the left-handed batting of Pant will bring variety to the Indian batting lineup. He highlighted the fact that there is no left-hander apart from Shikhar Dhawan in the lineup.

Ashish Nehra, Rishabh Pant
Ashish Nehra (Credits – BCCI)

Further, he quoted that Rishabh can be the fourth match-winner after Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli and Jasprit Bumrah. He also believes that the six-hitting capability of Rishabh Pant can help the team brilliantly during the crunch situations of the game.

Here are five reasons:

  • In a team, there will always be contributors but at a big event like the World Cup, you need players with X-factor. Rishabh Pant is not a mere contributor but a pure match-winner, who should be picked for the World Cup.
  • If you look at India’s batting line up, save Shikhar (Dhawan), there aren’t any left-handers in the top seven. You need variety with a left-right combination, where Rishabh perfectly fits.
  • Rishabh can bat at any position between one to seven and so Virat (Kohli) and the team management can use him as a floater.
Rishabh pant, Ashish Nehra
Rishabh Pant (Credits: Getty)
  • If it comes to effortlessly hit sixes, Rishabh comes second only to Rohit Sharma with his big-hitting ability. India will need that in abundance during the World Cup.
  • No disrespect, this team has three clear match-winners and they are Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma and Jasprit Bumrah. For me, the fourth one is going to be Rishabh Pant. Ambati Rayudu, Kedar Jadhav and Dinesh Karthik are all fantastic players but they are all in the same mould. You need X-factor, which this boy possesses.

Dinesh Karthik and Rishabh Pant are specialist batsmen:

Meanwhile, Ashish Nehra also clarified that people shouldn’t look at them as three openers playing in the XI. In fact, he believes that Karthik and Pant are playing ahead of Manish Pandey and Shreyas Iyer, which means that they are considered as the specialist batsmen.

Dinesh Karthik (Credits: Getty)

“I don’t look at it from that perspective. If Rishabh and DK are being picked ahead of specialist batsmen like Manish Pandey and Shreyas Iyer, then you are looking at them as specialist batsmen. So why complicate the thought process. As it is we have the peerless MS Dhoni behind stumps so treat both as specialist batsmen,” he said.

Well, it seems like Ashish Nehra has given valid reasons to add value to his statement. However, it would be up to the Indian selectors to bag his services or not.