Pant should play 2019 World Cup, New Zealand T20Is great opportunity for him: Harbhajan

first_imgIndia off-spinner, Harbhajan Singh has insisted that Rishabh Pant should be part of India’s squad for the Cricket World Cup, starting May 30 in England.Harbhajan said the upcoming three-match T20I series against New Zealand provides the young wicketkeeper-batsman a good opportunity to showcase what he can offer to the team and seal a spot in India’s 15-member squad for the quadrennial showpiece event.Harbhajan opined that Pant can bat at No. 3 in the absence of captain Virat Kohli, who is rested for the final leg of India’s long overseas season, so that the big-hitting batsman can make use of the fielding restrictions in the first six overs.Pant had rejoined the senior national team earlier this week in New Zealand. Despite the return of veteran wicketkeeper MS Dhoni, who is back in the T20I set up after missing the series against the West Indies at home and Australia, Pant is likely to make the playing XI.”I would love to see him [Pant] bat in the top order. He is someone… if he gets going, he can get you a lot of runs. Maybe, No.3 position could be for Pant since Virat is not there. If he gets to bat inside the first six overs, I think he can do a lot of damage to their bowling attack,” Harbhajan Singh told India Today on the eve of the first T20I in Wellington.”I think he is someone who should be part of the World Cup squad. He is a match-winner on his day. I think, India would need his services at some point of time at the World Cup. The best position for him to bat is No.3 if Virat is not there. This is a great opportunity for him to show what he can bring to the table,” the veteran off-spinner added.advertisementWelcome to the T20 format. What would you call this shot from @RishabPant777 #TeamIndia #NZvIND pic.twitter.com/R5QTJNFtQIBCCI (@BCCI) February 5, 2019Pant was in fantastic form during India’s historic 2-1 Test series win in Australia. The wicketkeeper-batsman overtook Virat Kohli and finished as the second highest Indian run scorer in the four-Test series with 350 runs at 58.33.However, much to the surprise of quite a few, Pant, who is known for his big-hitting skills, was omitted from the limited-over series in Australia and the recently-concluded ODI series in New Zealand.Nonetheless, chief selector MSK Prasad and head coach Ravi Shastri had confirmed that Pant was not dropped and that youngster is still in India’s World Cup plans. Pant though played a couple of List A matches for India A against England Lions in Thiruvananthapuram last month in the lead up to the T20I series in New Zealand.Meanwhile, India opener Shikhar Dhawan backed Rishabh Pant to grab his opportunities in the T20I series against New Zealand.”Pant is an aggressive batsman and he can take the game away from the opposition in a very short time. He is great asset for our team and I am sure he will avail this opportunity with both hands,” Dhawan had told the media in Wellington on Tuesday.Also Read | This Indian team has shoved the word overseas into a bin: Ravi ShastriAlso Read | Kuldeep Yadav will be our number one spinner in overseas Tests now: Ravi ShastriAlso Read | How about ironing your uniform: Rohit Sharma trolls Yuzvendra ChahalAlso See:last_img

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