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T20 WC: Why Pant's promotion is smart move by India

Source: PTI
June 16, 2024 15:54 IST
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Rishabh Pant

IMAGE: Pant has done well in the T20 World Cup at the No. 3 position with scores 36 not out, 42 and 18 on the testing pitches in New York. Photograph: BCCI/X

Former India batsman Sanjay Manjrekar didn't envisage Rishabh Pant getting promoted to No. 3 but termed the move a master-stroke as the flamboyant left-hander was easily India's best batter on view during the group league stage.

"They (team management) want more and more impact players, at every position down the order and Rishabh Pant, I didn't expect him to be batting at No. 3, and what a brilliant move it has turned out to be! Starting from that warm-up game against Bangladesh, when Samson and Rohit Sharma took some time to get used to the surface," he opined.

"Pant has shown his class. He has been India's best batter in this tournament so far, and on a difficult pitch, and that is Rishabh Pant's class. That they gave him the No. 3 slot also ensured that India don't have six right-handers like they had in that 50-over World Cup and the only left-hander India had was Jadeja at No. 7."

Shivam Dube, the toast of Chennai Super Kings' IPL campaign, hasn't exactly looked at ease on the tough New York strip and seems to be struggling when the ball isn't coming onto the bat.

Since he is a designated power-hitter, the jury is still out on his utility on the Caribbean tracks, where hitting through the line might not be the best option.

"We will have to wait and see. You are right because the hitting that you saw from Shivam Dube was on some of the flattest pitches in the world and also a long league (IPL) where a lot doesn't hinge on one game. So the pressures of World Cup are different.

"So, we need to wait and see if Shivam Dube can replicate what he did in the IPL against the spinners. You are right as it isn't going to be as easy to hit the spinners as it was on Indian pitches, and so we need to see if Dube can upgrade his power-hitting skills against spinners on these tracks," Manjrekar assessed.

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