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Sunday, Sep 22, 2019

Sourav Ganguly bats for Rishabh Pant’s inclusion in India squad for ODIs against Australia

Sourav Ganguly said that Rishabh Pant should be given a chance in the series in order to determine if he can be a match-winner at No. 6.

cricket Updated: Feb 11, 2019 18:58 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Rishabh Pant plays a shot during the second T20 international cricket match between New Zealand and India.
Rishabh Pant plays a shot during the second T20 international cricket match between New Zealand and India.(AFP)
         

Former India skipper Sourav Ganguly believes that youngster Rishabh Pant should be included in the squad for the upcoming ODI series against Australia. While discussing the India batting line-up, Ganguly said that Pant should be given a chance in the series in order to determine if he can be a match-winner at No. 6.

“So, if these are your top four batsmen and then MS Dhoni comes with Kedar Jadhav at No.6 and Hardik Pandya at No.7. Dinesh Karthik will also be there and India should undoubtedly play Rishabh Pant in these five ODIs and play in the top-order and we can see if he is your match-winner at No.6 because Pant as a batsman can win you matches. So, giving him chances will be really important,” Ganguly said in IndiaTV’s show Cricket Ki Baat.

READ: Ganguly reacts to Shastri’s tactic of playing Kohli at No. 4

Ganguly also said that he disagrees with head coach Ravi Shastri’s idea to play skipper Virat Kohli in the No. 4 slot and explained that the top three of Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan and Kohli is India’s strength.

“Virat Kohli will be coming back in the series to play at No.3. I was reading in the papers that Ravi (Shastri) wants him to play at No.4 but I don’t know who will play at No.3 then. Maybe Ambati Rayudu will play at No.3 with Kohli at No.4 but I don’t think that it is the right move because Kohli at No.3 is a huge player and this is India’s strength in ODIs - Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli,” he said.

READ: After Aus-NZ trip, Ganguly names THIS player as biggest positive for India

Earlier, chief selector called Pant a ‘healthy headache’ and said that the progress of the wicket-keeper batsman has been phenomenal in last one year across all the formats.

“Undoubtedly he (Pant) is in contention. A healthy headache. The progression of Rishabh in the last one year is phenomenal across the formats. What we actually felt is he needs a bit of maturity now, gain more experience. That is the reason we have included him in India A series wherever possible,” ESPNcricinfo quoted Prasad as saying.

First Published: Feb 11, 2019 18:58 IST