India vs New Zealand: ‘I’d like to see that’ - Irfan Pathan suggests new role for Rishabh Pant in Indian team
India vs New Zealand: KL Rahul has been given the role of India’s wicketkeeper, which has raised questions over Rishabh Pant’s role in the team.Updated: Jan 24, 2020 12:03 IST
Former India allrounder Irfan Pathan on Friday said that India should continue to persist with Rishabh Pant in the team, despite the sudden rise of KL Rahul as wicketkeeper. Pant suffered a concussion in the 1st ODI against Australia earlier this month, and was rested for the 2nd ODI. In his absence, KL Rahul donned the gloves, and was impressive behind the stumps, and with the bat. Skipper Virat Kohli on Friday confirmed that Rahul will continue to be India’s keeper in the upcoming T20I series against New Zealand.
Before the start of the first T20I, cricketer-turned-commentator Deep Das Gupta questioned Irfan Pathan on what is Rishabh Pant’s role in the team now, if Rahul is to keep wickets. “Irfan, KL Rahul has changed a bit. He is not just a batsman. He is a wicketkeeper now. What does that mean for Rishabh Pant?” he asked.
In his reply, Pathan insisted that India should persist with Pant, as he could be a good finisher for the team. “Team management is going to keep backing Rishabh Pant. The situation with him is, that they are going to find a good finisher in him. That’s why they are investing in him,” he said.
Pathan accepted that Pant has not shown his finishing skills so far in international cricket, but added he has done so in the past for his IPL franchise Delhi Capitals. “He hasn’t shown that yet. But we have seen in the IPL he has finished the game and won the games for Delhi Capitals. That’s what they see him doing in the future, and hence they keep persisting with him.”
Pathan further added: “I would like to see that as well. If Pant is batting at no. 6 and Hardik Pandya comes at no. 7, it’s a solid lower order, which you need in T20Is, to finish off the game.”
India will take on New Zealand in the first T20I in Auckland.