T20 WC: Rishabh at No 3 is a big positive, says Harbhajan

Prameyanews English

Published By : Prameya News Bureau | June 17, 2024 IST

Rishabh Pant

New Delhi, June 17: He is left-handed, swashbuckling, flamboyant batter. He loves to play his shots and can torment any attack in a span of few overs. 

Playing Rishabh Pant at No 3 has been a surprising and successful move by Team India in the ongoing T20 World Cup 2024. He has been the highest run-getter for India in the league stages and helped India remain unbeaten so far.

Former India off-spinner Harbhajan Singh analysed the Men in Blue's journey in the tournament so far and backed wicketkeeper-batter Rishabh to continue batting at the No.3 spot in the Super Eight as well.

The veteran bowler detailed that Pant coming one-down helps the side to maintain a left-right batting combination in the middle which poses a great challenge to any bowling unit.

In the tournament so far, Pant is the highest run-getter for the Indian team with 96 runs in three innings on a challenging New York pitch while all-rounder Hardik Pandya is the joint-highest wicket-taker with Arshdeep Singh, with both taking seven scalps each.

"To make Rishabh Pant play at number 3 is a big positive. The left-right combination is formed when Rishabh Pant plays at number 3. There are a lot of positives. Of course, there are challenges and difficulties. But the challenges come in for those who are brave. This team is a team of brave players. They fought well and played very well. Because of this, they topped the group," Harbhajan told Star Sports.

The former bowler further outlined Pandya's contribution to the showpiece as the "biggest positive" for the Rohit Sharma-led side.

"The biggest positive is that Hardik Pandya took the wicket. He was the fourth bowler in this tournament. But if you look at his wicket tally, he has done much better than what was expected of him. Along with him, Rishabh Pant played at number 3. His role was completely changed. Before this World Cup, we were saying that Sanju Samson would play in the team because he has made big runs," the veteran said.

Harbhajan also recalled Jasprit Bumrah's exceptional spell against Pakistan, which changed the momentum of the match and helped India beat their arch-rivals.

“The biggest positive is that when you are in trouble, how do you get out of it? One or the other player raised his hand and did his job that day. Jasprit Bumrah’s spell, Rizwan hit a bad shot and got out, after that, the energy the team showed was commendable. All those who were asleep woke up and pulled the match from that situation while defending a small score. It was not a common thing to win the match against Pakistan from their claws," he added.

India will lock horns with Afghanistan in their first Super Eight match in Barbados on June 20.

If Rishabh continues to replicate his form and others support him, then chances of India entering the semi-finals cannot be ruled out. It is almost a fairytale come back for Rishabh, who was out of action for nearly two years after the tragic car accident in 2022. (With IANS support) 

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