Former India manager R Sridhar believes that Rishabh Pant’s opener in T20Is is going to be a watershed moment in Indian cricket which happened earlier in 1994 when Sachin Tendulkar was invited to open innings. In recent times, several former cricketers and critics have suggested that India should use Pant as the opening hitter in the shortest format to utilize his talent to maximum capacity. The team management took the big step in the second T20I against England where Pant opened the innings alongside Rohit Sharma.
Team India is going through a transition phase and trying to adapt the fearless new approach to the T20I format. In the first two matches against England, Indian batters played with the new approach which was completely different from previous teams.
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Pant and Rohit shared a stand of 49 runs for the opening wicket as they stampeded their authority over England’s bowlers in the power play. The southpaw scored 26 points on 15 balls in his first stint as an Indian flyhalf.
Sridhar pointed to the similarity in the move that happened in 1994 when Tendulkar, who was batting in the middle order, was promoted to open innings to even out the lineup.
“I hope it will be a watershed moment like it happened in 1994 when someone put Mr. Tendulkar on top,” Sridhar said of Pant’s promotion to the top spot,” Sridhar said. at Sony Sports.
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The former India coach said Pant had a knack for making bowling look ridiculous and could form a strong pair with skipper Rohit.
“I think to start with, a southpaw at the top is very, very important. He can make bowling ridiculously silly, and he’ll walk the talk like Rohit does,” he added.
Sridhar further stated that using Pant as an opener will give the advantage to the batter at the other end, as the bowler’s primary target will be the wicket-keeper striker.
“He will play the way he would like the team to play. He will turn off the bowling unit. He will create fear and all the bowlers will focus on him. It will open up the other end,” Sridhar said.
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