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Pant can be a match-winner in T20s, says Laxman

Last updated on: March 09, 2021 13:55 IST
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'Once he has the security, we know that he can win matches just by himself.'

Rishabh Pant

IMAGE: Rishabh Pant hits out during the fourth Test against England in Ahmedabad. Photograph: BCCI

Former batsman VVS Laxman said wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant should be brought back in the Indian T20 team as he is capable of winning matches on his own with the bat.

Pant hit a match-winning century against England in the fourth Test in Ahmedabad to help India clinch the four-match series 3-1.


Laxman said Pant can prove to be a match-winner with the bat in limited overs cricket as he has the ability to get the boundaries regularly in the final few overs. The youngster lost his place in the limited overs team recently with KL Rahul being preferred as the wicketkeeper-batsman for India in T20s and ODIs.

"In this situation, it could just strengthen the finishers in the Indian team because over the last one and one and half years, we are overly dependent on Hardik Pandya, and (Raindra) Jadeja when he comes at No 7, but he plays cameos. But if there is one batsman in the Indian batting line-up who from the first ball can play those shots is Hardik Pandya. Rishabh Pant with the kind of form and maturity; it's not only about the form but the maturity with which he's batted in Test matches, I think he will be a match winner," Laxman said on Star Sports' show Game Plan.

"We have seen him play under pressure for Delhi Capitals and win matches. As a left-hand batsman, he gives that option where the opposition captain can feel the heat once he gets going. I think he is a great addition and I hope they don't judge him by one or two innings because if you're keeping in mind the World Cup, it can be a long rope. Once he has the security, we know that he can win matches just by himself," he added.

Pant has been in remarkable form with the bat in the last few months, as he played good some quality knocks in the Test series against Australia. Pant's unbeaten 89 on the fifth and final day of the fourth Test in Brisbane helped India win the series 2-1 to win their second consecutive series Down Under.

The Delhi youngster was not included in the squad for the white-ball leg against Australia but his recent smashing performances with the bat in Tests have earned him a call-up into India's squad for the five-match T20I series against England, starting on Friday.

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