Zaheer Khan addresses this player as the ‘X-Factor’ of the Indian team

Zaheer Khan

Former India pace bowler, Zaheer Khan has revealed that in future Rishabh Pant has the potential to be a key player for the Indian side. And for this, the management and the selectors should give him an extended run in the set up.



Meanwhile, Zaheer Khan has compared the young Pant to the former Australia player, Adam Gilchrist and said that Pant is an X-factor in the lower order of the team as well. He also feels that there are a very few players of his calibre and talent as Rishabh Pant, hence the management should give more attention while making any decision regarding him.

“At No.6 or No.7, if you have a player like Rishabh Pant like Australia used to have a match-winner in Gilchrist, he also was an X-factor. Yes, such players may not give you the runs always, but the day they play they will score very quickly, so you can add that aspect to your team,” Zaheer Khan said to Sony Sports Network.

“Every team does not have a choice to add such a player. You have the choice, whether you want to take it or not is where the opinion is divided. But such style of players do not come often, so they need to invest in him. I have always said that such players should be given more freedom,” Zaheer Khan further added.

Pant, who was dropped from the limited-overs squad due to his poor form earlier, has played his first game of the tour in the ongoing Boxing Day Test after replacing out of form Wriddhiman Saha in MCG. Pant came in the crease when the Team India lost 4 wickets at the score of 116 – still 79 behind Australia’s total as well.

However, the youngster didn’t panic in that tricky situation under the pressure. He played his natural game and took on Aussie veteran Nathan Lyon as well as the mighty Aussie pace attack. With Rahane stood strong at the other end, Pant scored 29 before getting dismissed by a Mitchell Starc’s delivery where the wicket-keeper, Tim Paine took a stunner.

India put up 326 runs on the board in their first innings where Ajinkya Rahane smashed his 12th Test hundred and Ravindra Jadeja scored a fifty as well.

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