Rishabh Pant for opener? Virender Sehwag suggests new batting position for southpaw
- Ex-India cricketer Virender Sehwag feels Pant should open the innings for India
- Pant has struggled to settle into the middle-order in the limited-overs side
- A move up the order could unlock Pant's qualities
Rishabh Pant has been under constant scrutiny since his debut in international cricket. Handpicked as a long-term replacement to MS Dhoni, the wicketkeeper-batsman has navigated his time in the Indian cricket team in his style. With critics quick to jump on his every error- most recently after the Durban Test against South Africa- he has had to defend his corner at regular intervals. But the southpaw is unfazed by the cauldron surrounding Indian cricket, playing some sublime knocks under immense scrutiny. In Cape Town, for instance, as more experienced batters fell in a heap, he stood tall with a typically belligerent century. Although India would lose the test and the series, the Roorkee lad came out with his reputation enhanced.
While Pant has shone in his fledgling Test career, his limited-overs game is yet to take off at the international level. As a middle-order batsman, he has often compromised his natural flair for a more measured approach. As per ex-India cricketer Virender Sehwag, the Indian setup should better utilise his aggression. Speaking on Sports 18's show Home of Heroes, he highlighted the young star's predicament:
“We don't play limited-overs to score 50 or 100 but to score at a brisk pace, no matter the situation or the opposition. At no. 4 or 5, he will find himself in situations that demand greater responsibility. But if he opens, he will be far more successful.”
Sehwag would be one to know, having started at no. 4 before morphing into one of the most dangerous openers of the recent era. While it is premature to compare young Pant to the Najafgarh born legend, he has all the ingredients in place. Possessing a wicked sense of daring, the Delhi Capitals' skipper has made an impression with a string of memorable knocks, although all in test whites. Playing a major hand in India's famous win at Brisbane, the next step in his career probably lies in a move up the order.