Rishabh Pant Should Replace MS Dhoni in Team India, Says Brian Lara
Rishabh Pant has played five matches in this year's Indian Premier League so far, and he has scored 171 runs at an average of 42.75. He is currently third in the list of most runs scored for DC this year, after Shreyas Iyer and Prithvi Shaw.
After former India pacer Ashish Nehra, Brian Lara has thrown his weight behind the explosive wicketkeeper-batsman. The 51-year-old opined on Star Sports show Cricket Connected that he should take over Dhoni's responsibilities for the Men in blue.
"Look at how he plays for Delhi Capitals, it looks like he wants that responsibility, he wants that onus on him to score runs, build an innings and get big scores. If he continues that way, I think that he should the No. 1," Lara said.
Not only Lara and Nehra, but Sanjay Bangar also opined that Pant brings a left-hand option for India in middle-order and thus needs to be backed.
With scores of 31, 37*, 28, 38, and 37, Rishabh Pant has revealed a new avatar of his in the IPL 2020. Barring his sluggish knock in the opening game against Kings XI Punjab, he has batted with a lot of responsibility and has impressed one and all with his range of hitting on the off-side after being a predominantly a leg-side power-hitter.
The way he was able to counter the wide deliveries on the off-side and play over the long-off and cover region in the game against CSK and RCB even impressed the great Brian Lara, who remarked that Pant has improved his game in the last 12 months when it comes to the off-side region. "Rishabh Pant a year ago, I would say no, but I feel that he has stepped up in terms of his responsibility as a batsman."
The batting great also said that KXIP captain KL Rahul who has been keeping for his side and kept wicket for India in 2019-20 home ODI series against Australia, should not bother about being behind the stumps. "I would like to say that KL Rahul should not be bothered with wicketkeeping when it comes to the Indian squad. He’s such a great batsman that I feel that he should concentrate on that and put in a lot of runs on the board."
After Pant suffered a concussion during the first ODI match against Australia in the three rubber series, which India won 2-1 earlier this year, KL kept behind the stumps. KL’s ability to take up multiple roles gained him praise from India captain Virat Kohli. He had said "Rahul really brings in a good balance to keep that well and bat that well in that position. It’s just that he’s come into that slot and has done well."