Wicketkeeper-batter Dinesh Karthik admitted that the team management found it difficult to fit in Rishab Pant in the middle order during the T20 World Cup and said opening is the ideal slot for the explosive southpaw.
“We know one think for sure, Rishabh Pant’s ability to play shots. And when the field is up, he can go gung-ho in the powerplay so we can give him the opportunity to open,”Karthik told Cricbuzz.
“Interestingly, his strike rate is highest when he opens. He likes the field up, he likes to take on bowlers and put them under pressure.
“He is second to none when it comes to stroke play and has baffled a lot of international bowlers of high pedigree. We need to embrace the fact that there will be a few failures from him, but he is a terrific player,” he added.
Pant played only two matches in the T20 World Cup with Dinesh Karthik being the first choice gloveman because of his ability to finish the game.
“I think Rishabh Pant has sealed his spot in Test cricket and to a large extent in ODI cricket as well. In T20s, he bats in a different position for his franchise and comes in a different spot in the Indian team and they are trying to figure out where to fit him,” Karthik said.
Karthik explains why it is difficult for Team management to fit in Pant at his desirable spot in the middle order.
“When you have Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav and Hardik Pandya, where do you fit in a Rishabh Pant? We do need a left-hander, but where do we play him? We know what Kohli does at No.3. Let’s not even talk about Suryakumar Yadav, he’s the best in the business in the world. Immediately we come down to Pant at No.5. Do we want him to bat there or let see if we can give him the opportunity to open,” said Karthik.
The first T20I between New Zealand and India at Wellington was washed out. On Sunday, the two teams will lock horns in the second T20I at Mount Maunganui.