'Had a look at Rishabh in IPL...': Rohit Sharma addresses Pant's No.3 promotion ahead of India vs Pakistan clash | Crickit
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'Had a look at Rishabh in IPL...': Rohit Sharma addresses Pant's No.3 promotion ahead of India vs Pakistan clash

Jun 09, 2024 06:15 AM IST

Rohit Sharma spoke about Rishabh Pant's role at no.3 in the Indian XI ahead of the game against Pakistan.

Team India threw in a surprise last month when Rishabh Pant walked in at no.3 in their warm-up match against Bangladesh in the T20 World Cup. Initially, it felt the move was an experiment for the side to try out a different combination; however, Pant retained his position when the side opened its campaign against Ireland, scoring an important unbeaten 36 to steer the side to an 8-wicket win in New York.

Rishabh Pant during a practice session ahead of India's ICC T20 World Cup match against Pakistan, in New York on Saturday(Surjeet Yadav)
Rishabh Pant during a practice session ahead of India's ICC T20 World Cup match against Pakistan, in New York on Saturday(Surjeet Yadav)

As the side prepares for the blockbuster clash against Pakistan, Indian captain Rohit Sharma all but confirmed that the wicketkeeper-batter will retain his place at no.3. "I had to look at Rishabh in the few games in IPL to make up my mind on where he will bat in the World Cup," Rohit said in the pre-match conference.

Pant produced strong performances in the Indian Premier League, which also marked his return to competitive cricket after a near-fatal car crash in December 2022. Leading the Delhi Capitals, Pant ended as the side's highest run-scorer, ending the edition with 446 runs in 14 matches at an impressive strike rate of 155.40.

His strong performances were catalyst to the selection for T20 World Cup, and further his promotion to the first-choice wicketkeeper spot over Sanju Samson, who also had impressive outings for the Rajasthan Royals in the season.

Interestingly, Pant wasn't part of the Indian XI despite being in the squad when India last took on Pakistan at the T20 World Cup; veteran former wicketkeeper-batter Dinesh Karthik played in the game, where India clinched a thrilling four-wicket win in Melbourne.

Pakistan's poor form at T20 World Cup

India have always had an edge over Pakistan in the World Cups, but Rohit was not ready to rest on the past records. But he also insisted that there is no additional pressure playing against the arch-rivals.

"Nothing changes. We have played them seven months back in the Asia Cup and (ODI) World Cup. But T20 is unpredictable. That's what T20 cricket is all about.

"Last World Cup, Pakistan lost to Zimbabwe but ended up playing the final. On your day anyone can beat anyone," he added.

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