Former all-rounder Reetinder Singh Sodhi believes that India are a serious contender for the 2022 T20 World Cup with an in-form, fully-fit Hardik Pandya in the side. The all-rounder has turned a corner in terms of fitness and has contributed across both departments consistently.
Since making his comeback to the national side following the 2022 Indian Premier League (IPL), Pandya has gone on to register his maiden T20I fifty as well as his best bowling figures (4/33). The Baroda all-rounder was also given charge of the Men in Blue in the two-match T20I series against Ireland in July.
Terming Pandya as an intelligent cricketer who trusts his game, Sodhi said on India News Sports:
“Pandya is a player who will walk out on the field and use his brains and play his own game. He is a ruthless cricketer, whenever he scores runs or takes wickets, India will win 90% of their games. He knows how to get out of difficult situations. One of the main reasons why India are a serious contender for the WC, is because Pandya has regained his form.”
The all-rounder worked on his fitness following a forgettable campaign during the 2021 T20 World Cup. He was not part of the tour of South Africa or the long home season and featured in the IPL, leading the Gujarat Titans (GT) to victory in their first ever campaign.
“Even with Delhi Capitals, Pant wants to play at No.4” – Saba Karim on Team India wicket-keeper’s ambitions
Rishabh Pant’s batting position has seen frequent changes of late. The wicketkeeper-batter was tried out as an opener during the tour of England. With Suryakumar Yadav now being tested out at the top of the order, Pant has occupied the No.4 batter’s spot during the ongoing tour of West Indies.
Recalling that Pant wanted to open the innings for the Delhi Capitals (DC), franchise scout head and former cricketer Saba Karim said during the same interaction:
Even with Delhi Capitals, Pant wants to play at No.4. He actually wants to open the innings, but he was talked out of it.
Praising Pant for his watchful knock in the third T20I, Karim added:
“He played a good innings, played intelligently, and this is what we expect from him going forward.”
The southpaw played second fiddle to the in-form Suryakumar and chased down the target with an over to spare. He remained unbeaten on 33 off 26 deliveries, marking his first score in excess of 30 in ten innings.
What is Rishabh Pant’s ideal batting position in this batting order? Let us know what you think.