When Virat Kohli departed against England after a fine knock of 66, India were well placed at 146 for 2 in pursuit of 338. An experienced pinch hitter would have been the ideal man to come to the crease at that moment. However, India sent Rishabh Pant at number four, thus leaving many surprised. While there is no denying that Pant has immense talent, he just does not have the experience at the moment.
And the way he batted against England, it became very evident that he was a bit nervous on his World Cup debut. Pant, who made it to the playing eleven in place of Vijay Shankar, scored 32 off 29 balls before departing at a crucial juncture. An in-form Hardik Pandya perhaps would have been the right man to bat at number four.
But Pandya came to bat at number five and although he tried to get India over the line, he failed. Rohit Sharma was asked the same question when he addressed the media. One of the journalists asked him why Pant was sent ahead of Pandya. But instead of giving the plausible explanation, Rohit left everyone in stitches with his hilarious reply.
“No. You guys wanted him to play, right? You asked where is Rishabh Pant? Where is Rishabh Pant? Here he is… at no.4,” said Rohit Sharma at the post-match press-conference.
— BCCI (@BCCI) June 30, 2019
Talking about the match, India suffered their first loss of the tournament with England beating them by 31 runs at Edgbaston. Batting first, England piled up a mammoth total of 337 for 7 in the allotted 50 overs. Jonny Bairstow scored a century while Jason Roy and Ben Stokes scored fifties. For India, Mohammed Shami was the pick of the bowlers after taking a five-wicket haul. In reply, India ended up on 306 for 5 with Rohit Sharma scoring a century and Virat Kohli scoring a fifty.