India will start their white-ball series against New Zealand with the first T20I of the three-match series scheduled to be played in Wellington on Friday, November 18. Former Indian cricketer Robin Uthappa believes Rishabh Pant has the potential to become a T20 stalwart if he is promoted up the batting order.
The Men in Blue will be touring New Zealand for a white-ball series comprising three T20Is and three ODIs between November 18 and 30. Hardik Pandya will lead the T20I side, with Rishabh Pant acting as a deputy in the absence of senior stars like KL Rahul, Virat Kohli, and Rohit Sharma in the shorter format. While Shikhar Dhawan will lead the ODI team, and VVS Laxman will serve as head coach in Rahul Dravid’s absence.
Rishabh Pant Should Open The Innings – Robin Uthappa
During an exclusive conversation with Sportskeeda, Uthappa opined that Pant should bat in the top order in the upcoming T20I series against New Zealand.
“Rishabh Pant should open the innings in the New Zealand series, he should definitely play at the top of the order. I think in T20 cricket, that’s where he has been at his best and that is where he will thrive going forward as well,” said Robin Uthappa.
“He is a match-winner, a game-changer, and he can easily win matches for India single-handedly with his batting. I think he will be a huge player in T20 cricket over the course of the next ten years,” he added.
The wicketkeeper-batsman has yet to find his rhythm in the shortest form of the game. He made his T20I debut in 2017 but had to wait for MS Dhoni’s retirement to become a regular in the playing XI. The southpaw has been tried at the top of the order on a couple of occasions. He faced new ball on the England and West Indies tours, as well as in practice games against the Western Australia XI last month, but he failed to capitalize on those opportunities.