New Delhi: India skipper Virat Kohli had made it clear at the start of the ODI series against West Indies that Ajinkya Rahane would be given an opportunity to prove himself as opener in this series. And after the Mumbai batsman has had a good run in the first two games, questions are now being asked if the likes of Rishabh Pant would also be given an opportunity and the skipper has said there is a chance that Pant could be a part of the playing XI.
“We’ll sit down and decide as a team about changes that can be made (when asked about Pant). We’ll go to Antigua and regroup, and that’s a possibility as well, give a few guys an opportunity,” Kohli said.
Yuvraj Singh’s poor show could in fact increase Pant’s chance of making it to the team as a middle-order batsman. The senior campaigner has managed to score just 4 and 14 in the first two games of the series. Former India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni has been pictured spending time with young wicket-keeping sensation Pant. The left-hander is widely regarded as a direct replacement for Dhoni, once he decides to hang up his illustrious boots. Although the young lad has shown glimpses of his immense talent in domestic cricket and in the Indian Premier League, it will still be a big task for Pant to fill in those shoes.
In the last edition of the Ranji Trophy, Pant rewrote history books by slamming the fastest ton in the competition history (48 balls).Also, Pant had a more than decent outing in the 10th edition of the IPL for the Delhi Daredevils (366 runs in 14 matches).
But the international area is a different ball game altogether and the selectors want Pant to be ready for the job once Dhoni decides to walk into the sunset. Also, former India captain Rahul Dravid was quoted as saying recently that the selectors will have to sort out the futures of Dhoni and Yuvraj soon.
"It is a call that is got to be taken by the selectors and the management. And what they see as the road map for Indian cricket, and where they see the role of both these cricketers going ahead for the next couple of years. Is there a place for both of them? Is there a place for only one of them?," Dravid said.
So, with the 2019 World Cup in mind, it is imperative for the Indian management to blood in young talent whenever possible.