Nehra wants Pant to be part of World Cup squad
Former pacer Ashish Nehra said he has more than one reason for young wicket-keeper batsman, Rishabh Pant to be selected in the World Cup squad of India. The event starts from May 30 onwards in England and Wales. Pant didn't play the ODIs in New Zealand. However, he is set to make a comeback for the home series against Aussies. Here's what Nehra said.
Speaking to PTI, Nehra stated that Pant has the X factor and is a pure match-winner. "In a team, there will always be contributors but at a big event like the World Cup, you need players with X factor. Rishabh Pant is not a mere contributor but a pure match-winner who should be picked for the World Cup," Nehra said.
Nehra outlined India's need of having a left-handed batsman in the side besides Shikhar Dhawan. The former India pacer highlighted that Pant can bat anywhere and could be used as a floater. Nehra also picked Pant's ability to hit sixes as a major bonus. The 2003 World Cup star also counted Pant as someone who can change the complexion of any match.
Rishabh Pant hasn't yet sealed his spot in Team India's World Cup squad. The player is very much in the management's radar, but he still has to fight for a berth. There have been talks about Pant fighting for a spot against the experienced Dinesh Karthik. Some suggest he is in contention as a back-up for the top order alongside KL Rahul.
Pant was given his ODI break last year against West Indies at home. He scored just 41 runs in three matches and was dropped to the bench. With MS Dhoni set to be the keeper in the World Cup, and DK showing his prowess as a finisher, it remains to be seen in what capacity Pant would fit in the squad.
Pant has only played three ODIs and the upcoming series against Australia could be crucial for him. He will be given the chance to express himself. If Pant grabs the opportunity, then there is every possibility of him getting a call-up.