IND vs ENG: Rishabh Pant to be rewarded for fine form with return to T20 playing eleven

Rishabh Pant (wk) of India during the warmup session on the 3rd T20 International match between India and Bangladesh held at the Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium, Nagpur on the 10th November 2019. Photo by Deepak Malik / Sportzpics for BCCI

Indian cricket has several quality players for nearly every positions. Recently, they have defeated England in the four-match Test series and reached the final of the inaugural World Test Championship final. However, now its time to shift the focus to the shortest format. As the ICC T20 World Cup will be played later this year, swashbuckling batsman Rishabh Pant could possibly return to the squad.

After his recent success with the bat in the longer format, the team management would love to give him the chance against England in the five-match T20I series in Ahmedabad which is starting on March 12. However, Pant lost his place to KL Rahul a couple of years ago due to his poor form with the bat and the keeping gloves.

And, Rahul too successfully replaced him in the position. But Rishabh Pant has done a lot of work in both the front and he has been named in the squad alongside Ishan Kishan as the backup, who has earned his maiden call-up.

“Pant needs to be given a long run at No. 4. So does someone like Suryakumar Yadav. He should be told you’ll get all five games here. You don’t want to be in a position like 2019 when you couldn’t zero in on a No. 4 batsman even a series before the World Cup. You don’t want half-baked players going into a World Cup. You would want players to have enough games under their belt,” former national selector Devang Gandhi said.

However, if Pant comes in, the team management has to take a call between Shikhar Dhawan and KL Rahul alongside Rohit Sharma in the opening. “There has to be a tough call. At this moment, Rohit and Rahul should be first choice openers. Shikhar can be the backup. The management always wanted a left-hander in the middle. Pant at No. 4 boosts the line-up as he is good against both pace and spin. Pant, Surya and Hardik Pandya can form the dynamic middle-order you want in T20s,” Gandhi further added.

India’s T20I squad: Virat Kohli (Captain), Rohit Sharma (Vice-Captain), KL Rahul, Shikhar Dhawan, Shreyas Iyer, Suryakumar Yadav, Hardik Pandya, Rishabh Pant (WK), Ishan Kishan (WK), Yuzvendra Chahal, Varun Chakravarthy, Axar Patel, Washington Sundar, Rahul Tewatia, T Natarajan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Deepak Chahar, Navdeep Saini, Shardul Thakur.

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