Wasim Jaffer has urged the Indian cricket management to consider using Rishabh Pant as an opener in the shortest format of the game ahead of a three match T20I series versus England starting Thursday. The wicketkeeper batsman is yet to impress in the format internationally, despite red-ball success.
Rishabh Pant has quickly risen up the ranks in Indian cricket and become a regular part of the lineup across all formats of the game. Recently, the 24 year old was named the captain of an underpowered Indian side for a five match T20I series against South Africa, giving him his first taste of leadership on the international stage.
The wicketkeeper batsman is already a regular captain of IPL outfit Delhi Capitals, and has garnered a strong reputation due to his exploits in the competition over the years. However, when donning the Indian blue, Pant has failed to have the same impact. He has just 741 runs in 48 T20Is at an average 23.15, nearly 10 runs lower than his domestic T20 average. In the latest series against the Proteas, he managed a paltry 58 runs averaging 14.50.
Nevertheless, given his vast success wearing the all-whites, Pant is thought to be the next big thing in Indian cricket. He already has five Test centuries to his name, scoring over 2,000 runs averaging 40-plus. Former cricketer Wasim Jaffer has suggested the national team consider opening with the young batsman in T20Is in order to extract his full potential. Pant has previously never played as a regular opener in T20s.
"Indian think tank should think about opening with Rishabh Pant in T20Is. I think that's the spot where he can blossom," Jaffer tweeted.
RIshabh Pant’s next international assignment will be a three match T20I series against England. The first match is scheduled to take place on Thursday at the Rose Bowl Cricket Ground, followed by encounters in Edgbaston and Trent Bridge.