Former Indian batsman VVS Laxman has reckoned that the addition of wicketkeeper batsman Rishabh Pant in India's T20I side will strengthen the finishers in the side. He also added that right now the team is too dependent on Hardik Pandya and feels that an aggressive Pant can be a match-winner.
Rishabh Pant has been on fire with the bat this year as he is the leading run-getter for India in Tests at the moment. He played crucial roles with the bat in the series wins over Australia and England respectively. The southpaw has not only got quick runs but also made them when the team needed it the most be it the Gabba Test or the first innings of the fourth and the final Test against England at the Narendra Modi Stadium.
His great run of form in Tests also paved way for his return to the T20I side against England as India starts building up for the T20 World Cup with the upcoming England T20Is. Former Indian batting great VVS Laxman has reckoned that Pant's addition is great for India as the side has been too dependent on all-rounder Hardik Pandya when it comes to finishers.
"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 told Star Sports, reported HT.
Laxman added that the 23-year-old can prove to be a match-winner if he keeps batting like the way he has done in the longest format of the game.
"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. 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."
However, Laxman warned people not to judge him just on the basis of a few games and suggested that he should be given a long rope.
"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.