Kolkata: India’s batting coach Vikram Rathour said Monday that Rishabh Pant can be utilised in a ‘better way lower down the order’. He said that the team management has not yet decided on an elevation for Rishabh Pant. It should be stated here that Pant was tried as an opener in an ODI against the West Indies recently.
Rathour was roped in as batting coach after the exit of Sanjay Bangar in late 2019. He got an extension till the ODI World Cup in India next year despite the departure of old coaching staff under Ravi Shastri.
Rathour was asked whether the team management sees Pant as an opener in the white ball format in future. Rathour said the dashing big-hitter could be better utilised in the lower middle-order.
“It’s too far ahead. I don’t know whether I will be part of the side after 2023… As for Rishabh, he is a fantastic player, he can always bat up the order,” Rathour said in a media interaction ahead of the T20 International series against the West Indies beginning here Wednesday.
“It will depend on the team’s scenario at that point of time and what the team wants from him. I’ve no doubt that he will be an important member of the side beyond 2023. But we can utilise him in a better way lower down the order which can be really challenging. This is because we don’t have many options of a left hander in the middle-order. We will see at that point of time where he can be more useful,” added the batting coach.
Pant opened the batting in the second ODI against the West Indies. He then batted at No.5 in the third and final game after Shikhar Dhawan was back in the mix.
Rathour was asked if the team management would want to try Pant as an opener in the upcoming T20Is. “We have not yet decided, we still have a couple of days to go (for the match),” he said.
“I understand KL (Rahul) is out but we still have Ishan (Kishan) and Ruturaj (Gaikwad) in the mix. We will see once we have a look at the surface here Monday,” added Rathour.
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