IND vs SA 2022
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Former Indian cricketer Wasim Jaffer said Rishabh Pant won’t open the batting order in the T20I series against South Africa.

On the eve of the five-match T20I series opener, India suffered twin blows as opener Rahul and spin bowler Kuldeep Yadav were ruled out due to injuries.

Rahul was initially named captain of the 18-member squad in regular skipper Rohit Sharma’s absence. However, the Karnataka player suffered a right groin injury before the series could kick-off.

Kuldeep was also injured while batting in a training session. Pant, who was appointed Rahul’s deputy for the five-match series, was elevated in the captain’s role with Hardik as his deputy.

IND vs SA: Who opens the batting for India?

Rahul’s injury leaves the Indian think-tank befuddled on the opening pair. Pant has never opened the batting order in the shortest format for India but filled the role for the Delhi state side in the early days.

Pant also opened the innings with Rohit Sharma in the second ODI match against West Indies. But, Jaffer believes Indian team management or selectors would have plans to open with the wicketkeeper.

Rohit Sharma, Rishabh Pant
Rohit Sharma, Rishabh Pant. (Photo: Twitter)

Don’t see Rishabh Pant opening in the T20 World Cup: Wasim Jaffer

Jaffer suggested India to try the left-right combination in Ruturaj Gaikwad and Ishan Kishan in the South Africa T20Is.

I don’t think so (Rishabh Pant opening the batting order). I don’t see Rishabh Pant opening in the T20 World Cup. I don’t think that is in the selectors’ or captain Rohit Sharma’s plans,” Jaffer told ESPNCricinfo.

Wasim Jaffer. Photo- Twitter
Wasim Jaffer. Photo- Twitter

“I think Ruturaj Gaikwad and Ishan Kishan (will open) because we haven’t got anybody who’s going to be the third opener. We’ve got Rohit and KL Rahul, who are pretty much sure to open, but we are not pretty sure who is going to be that backup opener. We can try these guys and find out,” he added.

IND vs SA: Don't Think Rishabh Pant Will Open In KL Rahul's Absence – Wasim Jaffer IND vs SA: Don't Think Rishabh Pant Will Open In KL Rahul's Absence – Wasim Jaffer IND vs SA: Don't Think Rishabh Pant Will Open In KL Rahul's Absence – Wasim Jaffer IND vs SA: Don't Think Rishabh Pant Will Open In KL Rahul's Absence – Wasim Jaffer

The first of the five T20 Internationals between India and South Africa starts on Thursday (June 9) at the Arun Jaitley Stadium in Delhi.

Also Read: IND vs SA: ‘We Do Not Have Many Openers… You Guys Can Guess’ – Rishabh Pant On KL Rahul’s Replacement In 1st IND vs SA T20I