Rohit Sharma Explains Decision to Pick Rishabh Pant Over Yashasvi Jaiswal, Says 'When I Saw Him During...'

New York [US], June 8 : Ahead of his side's ICC T20 World Cup clash against Pakistan, Indian skipper ...

By ANI | Published: June 8, 2024 11:02 PM2024-06-08T23:02:28+5:302024-06-08T23:29:45+5:30

Rohit Sharma Explains Decision to Pick Rishabh Pant Over Yashasvi Jaiswal, Says 'When I Saw Him During...' | Rohit Sharma Explains Decision to Pick Rishabh Pant Over Yashasvi Jaiswal, Says 'When I Saw Him During...'

Rohit Sharma Explains Decision to Pick Rishabh Pant Over Yashasvi Jaiswal, Says 'When I Saw Him During...'


New York [US], June 8 : Ahead of his side's ICC T20 World Cup clash against Pakistan, Indian skipper Rohit Sharma confirmed that star wicketkeeper-batter Rishabh Pant will continue to be a fixture in the top order to break a right-hand bat heavy top four, saying that his counter-attacking abilities against spinners will become important as the tournament progresses and moves to West Indies.

At the Nassau County International Stadium on Sunday, it will be a 'Super Sunday' as arch-rivals India and Pakistan will be clashing in their highly anticipated ICC T20 World Cup clash, with plenty of sports superstars in action. Having secured a comprehensive win against Ireland by eight wickets, India will be riding high on confidence and plenty of winning momentum. However, Pakistan on the other hand will be aiming to overcome the blues from defeat to co-hosts and World Cup debutants USA by defeating their biggest rival in the sport.

Speaking about Pant's role in the team, Rohit said during the pre-match press conference, "I had to see Pant in a few IPL games to decide where I wanted to play him during the World Cup. When I saw him during the first half of the tournament, I was really happy with his performance. With a player like him, and the ability he has, it is tough to find the right number for him. But when we have three right-handers in the start, it is nice to have him in the middle. When we move ahead in the tournament, spinners will play a big role and his counterattacking ability against spin will be important."

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"With Yashasvi Jaiswal not in the playing eleven, he is that guy who can play with freedom. I have seen enough of him doing that over the years and I know what his strengths. There is a bit of weakness as well, but I want to focus on his strengths. I think he has got an all-round game, which I would like to utilise more and get him to play more balls. Besides the openers, none of the guys' positions are fixed. We want to be flexible about these positions. Some guys love certain entry points into the game and we would like to think about it," he added.

Playing at number three during the warm-up clash against Bangladesh and the first Group A game against Ireland, Pant scored 53 and 36* respectively. Pant just made his return to competitive cricket during the recently-concluded Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024 as a captain of Delhi Capitals, after a life-threatening car accident back in December 2022.

Rishabh's team Delhi Capitals finished in the sixth spot with seven wins, seven losses and 14 points and failed to move to playoffs. He scored 446 runs in 13 matches at a strike rate of over 155 with three half-centuries and emerged as the team's top run-getter.

On the pitch of Nassau County Stadium, scrutinised heavily due to its uneven bounce and unpredictable nature, Rohit said that playing good cricket will be the key no matter what opposition or pitch is there.

"You know what to expect, you have to prepare accordingly. We have spoken about it, what to do, what could be the game plan for batters and bowlers, control what we can control, which is to give your best, assess and play accordingly. There is a lot of experience in our changing room. I expect everyone to make decisions. It can go either side, but as long as you make decisions based on what you have seen in front of you, you give yourself the best chance to win. Nothing changes for us, we will try ticking all the boxes," he added.

On star batter Virat Kohli's role in the game, Rohit said that though there are key players in the team, he wants everyone to chip in as much as they can instead of relying on just one or two players.

"Virat did not play the game against Bangladesh, did not have a first great game, but he has enough experience and training under his belt to do well, which cannot be beaten. He has played all over the world," added the skipper.

Virat has a fine record against Pakistan in T20 WC- 308 runs in five matches at an average of 308.00 and a strike rate of 132.75, with four half-centuries and best score of 82*.

On him and Rishabh sustaining some blows to their body during the Ireland clash and in the nets due to the pitch's invariable bounce, Rohit said, "The reason why they (Indian players) are playing is because they are all mentally tough and more skilled than anyone else. When you play at the highest level, these blows do not count. In many places like South Africa, and Australia, you have to cross such hurdles. We won the test in Gabba (back in 2021) because we were mentally tough, Guys got hit in the chest, hands etc due to invariable bounce. It is not going to be easy all the time. These are the moments when you try and test yourself. I am sure all the players playing want to be in difficult conditions and thrive in them. Nothing can get bigger than playing for your country in the World Cup. These blows are secondary.

Ahead of the highly anticipated blockbuster clash, Rohit sustained a blow to his left thumb while batting in the net session however the skipper resumed practice after receiving medical assistance from the side's medical team.

India Squad: Rohit Sharma(c), Virat Kohli, Rishabh Pant(w), Suryakumar Yadav, Shivam Dube, Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Jasprit Bumrah, Arshdeep Singh, Mohammed Siraj, Yuzvendra Chahal, Sanju Samson, Kuldeep Yadav, Yashasvi Jaiswal

Pakistan Squad: Mohammad Rizwan(w), Babar Azam(c), Usman Khan, Fakhar Zaman, Shadab Khan, Azam Khan, Iftikhar Ahmed, Shaheen Afridi, Haris Rauf, Naseem Shah, Mohammad Amir, Imad Wasim, Abrar Ahmed, Saim Ayub, Abbas Afridi.

Disclaimer: This post has been auto-published from an agency feed without any modifications to the text and has not been reviewed by an editor

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