India tour of England: Former England captain Nasser Hussain believes Rishabh Pant batting at 6 is one spot too high ahead of India’s five-match Test series against England. Pant has been in fine form across all formats of the game and was one of the stalwarts in India’s famous series win against Australia.
India tour of England: Speaking to the Daily Mail, Nasser Hussain opined that Rishabh Pant at No.6 was not the ideal position for the Delhi Capitals star despite his performances over the last year.
“Of what I have seen of India, if England can get a par score in the first innings, with the seam-bowling resources they have, then they should be confident. Rishabh Pant at six in England is one place too high. India will have to find a new opener as Shubman Gill has been ruled out and can they afford to pick Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin if the ball is moving around? If they play on flat, belting pitches they can,” Nasser Hussain said.
India tour of England: Rishabh Pant is currently in isolation after he tested positive for coronavirus during the team’s 20-day break post the World Test Championship final against New Zealand in Southampton. The Delhi star will miss the tour game vs the Select County XI in Durham, with KL Rahul set to keep wickets after Wriddhiman Saha was also asked to isolate due to close contact.
India tour of England: While Nasser Hussian’s suggestion would lengthen India’s batting order, the lack of bowling options in their top six means that Virat Kohli and Co. will have to adopt a two-spinner attack. Among the batsmen in the current squad, only Hanuma Vihari can roll his arm over, who is currently on the fringes of the XI. Should Vihari play and Pant bats at 7, India will be left with only four proper bowling options, seriously hindering their potency over the course of the Test. Ravindra Jadeja hence becomes a crucial inclusion, with Pant ahead of him, and Ravichandran Ashwin to follow to provide depth to the batting order. The exclusion of Hardik Pandya from the squad has also compounded problems, leaving Virat Kohli with no other option than to play two spinners.
India tour of England: Rishabh Pant already has a hundred in England, having scored a counter-attacking 114 in 2018. In seven test matches this year, Pant has scored 560 runs at an average of 56.00, with one century and four fifties. The Delhi Capitals star will be key if India have to pull off a famous series win in England, with the five-match series set to kick off on August 4.