'His addition will strengthen finishers': Laxman names player who can be 'match-winner' for India in T20Is vs England
Former India batsman VVS Laxman believes that the addition of wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant in the T20I squad against England is a good call made by the Indian selectors as he can be the match-winner for the team in the shortest format. Pant was dropped from the limited-overs squad when India travelled to Australia, but the left-hander has made his way back into contention after superb performances in Test cricket.
Pant scored 89* runs in the 4th Test at Gabba against Brisbane as he helped India in winning the series Down Under, and then he followed it up with another scintillating show in the series against England at home. Pant's innings of 101 in the 4th Test in Ahmedabad against the Joe Root-led side turned the game and ensured an easy win for the hosts.
Speaking on Star Sports' Game Plan, former Laxman said that Pant will help the finishers in the team:"It is going to be a big series for him and his addition will strengthen the finishers in the Indian team."
"Over the last 1-1.5 years, we are overly dependent on only Hardik Pandya. Jadeja comes at No.7 but he plays cameos but if there is one batsman in that Indian batting lineup who from the first ball can play those big shots, it is Hardik Pandya," Laxman added.
"Rishabh Pant, with the kind of form and maturity with which he has batted in the Test matches, I think he will be a match-winner. We have seen him play under pressure for the Delhi Capitals and win matches," he further said.
"We know 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.
"I just hope that they don't judge him by one or two innings because if you are keeping in mind the World Cup, give him a long rope and once he has that security we know that he can win matches just by himself," Laxman signed off.