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Team India are all set to lock horns with rivals New Zealand in the forthcoming three-match T20I series starting on November 18, Friday at Wellington. The Men in Blue head to the series without the likes of skipper Rohit Sharma and have made a few more team changes.
The onus is on stand-in skipper Hardik Pandya and the management to decide whom to play at the top order in the batting line-up. Former India international, Wasim Jaffer expressed that he would like to see wicketkeeper-batter Rishabh Pant to join Shubman Gill as the openers in the T20I match.
Jaffer further stated his playing XI and justified his reasons to pick Pant in the top order in an interview with ESPNcricinfo.
“My playing XI would be Shubman Gill along with Rishabh Pant, I do not know if he will bat in no. 5 because I have Iyer (Shreyas Iyer) at three, Suryakumar Yadav at four, Hardik (Pandya) as the captain at five and with this said, I don’t think Pant will bat at no.6. So, the best place I feel for him is to bat at the top of the order,” said Jaffer on ESPNcricinfo.
“Deepak Hooda will play in the no.6 spot, Washington Sundar at seven, Harshal Patel at eight. You can pick either Kuldeep Yadav or Yuzvendra Chahal at nine. I would prefer Kuldeep but you could pick any of the two, Siraj played before the World Cup, so he could take the next spot, and Arshdeep Singh at no. 11,” he added.
When he gets going at the start, Rishabh is dangerous: Wasim Jaffer
The former cricketer further emphasized on Rishabh Pant opening the innings as he can add threat coming on top of the order rather than playing down the middle order.
“He has always batted at number four and five for India and Delhi Capitals and sometimes I feel the best place would be for him to open. Because when he gets going at the start of the innings, Rishabh Pant is dangerous. Once he gets a start and he is 20-30 not out in the powerplay, then he is dangerous,” Wasim reiterated.