The selection of Rishabh Pant in place of injured Shikhar Dhawan in the ICC World Cup 2019 squad created a lot of stir among the fans and former cricketers. However, chairman of the selection committee, MSK Prasad has clarified that Pant came into the team solely as a left-handed batsman and not as an opener or a middle-order batter.
MSK Prasad clarifies on Pant’s selection
India bowed out of the semifinals of the ICC World Cup 2019 losing to New Zealand by 18 runs. Despite their premature outing, Rishabh Pant impressed in whatever limited opportunities came his way. He batted at four. The young wicket-keeper batsman scored 116 runs from four games with the highest score of 48 runs against Bangladesh. Meanwhile, Pant came into the playing XI against England after coming into the squad in place of Shikhar Dhawan who copped up a finger blow against Australia.
The selection of Rishabh Pant in place of an opener caused a lot of speculations in the country. But MSK Prasad has clarified that Pant came into the team as a southpaw and not as a replacement of an opener. He also revealed that they had no left-handers in their mind, and thus, Pant was an obvious choice.
“Lot of speculations during World Cup, want to clarify. Pant was picked because team management wanted a left-hander. Had no other choice in mind. Not as middle order or opener,” Prasad said while addressing the press conference.
Meanwhile, with MS Dhoni in the twilight of his career, Rishabh Pant will be his successor in all likelihood. The veteran wicket-keeper batsman announced his unavailability for the upcoming series against West Indies which made Pant the first choice for the selectors. The series will start from August 3 with three T20Is followed by three ODIs and two Test matches.
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