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"I have no answer for that question" - Aakash Chopra on Rishabh Pant opening for India

New Zealand v India - 2nd T20
Rishabh Pant struggled at the top of the order in the second T20I against New Zealand.

Aakash Chopra feels the third T20I between India and New Zealand will be crucial for Rishabh Pant to cement his place as an opener in T20I cricket.

The final game of the three-match series will be played in Napier on Tuesday, November 22. The Men in Blue head into the match with an unassailable 1-0 lead, having won the second T20I at Mount Maunganui after the first game in Wellington was rained off without a ball bowled.

While previewing the game in a video shared on his YouTube channel, Chopra had the following to say about Pant's place at the top of the order:

"This is an extremely important match for Rishabh Pant. The truth is you are making him open because he is a very good player and his best might come at that position, just like we did with Rohit Sharma. Is that what we are trying to do or are we convinced that he can be the best opener? I have no answer for that question."
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Chopra wants Ishan Kishan to bat a little more aggressively in the third T20I. The former Indian opener elaborated:

"Ishan Kishan batted well but it was not at a strike rate of 150, although the conditions were slightly challenging. They will be less challenging in this match and the expectation is that India will try to run at a faster pace."

Pant played 13 deliveries for his six runs in the second T20I. Kishan scored a 31-ball 36 but was not at his fluent best.


"Your success is tied to Suryakumar Yadav's form" - Aakash Chopra

Suryakumar Yadav scored a match-winning century in the second T20I.
Suryakumar Yadav scored a match-winning century in the second T20I.

Chopra believes Suryakumar Yadav needs to fire for India to post a massive total. He explained:

"We reach 190 only when Suryakumar Yadav hits. If he doesn't hit, there are problems. Everyone else on one side and Suryakumar Yadav on the other. He scores 111 runs off 51 balls and the rest of the team scores 80 runs in 69 balls. The truth is that your success is tied to Suryakumar Yadav's form."

Chopra reckons Shreyas Iyer will be bombarded with short-pitched bowling once he arrives at the crease. The reputed commentator stated:

"It seems Shreyas Iyer is coming riding a horse. Bouncers will be bowled to him here also. The side boundaries are short, so there is a possibility of success, but bouncers are going to be bowled, that is absolutely clear."
Shreyas Iyer is out hit wicket playing back to paceman Lockie Ferguson. Simon Doull correctly explains that Iyer was playing back because he was expecting a short ball, which he doesn't play well. It was the first delivery he had faced against a pacer in this innings #INDvsNZ

While Yadav smashed an unbeaten 111 off just 51 balls at Mount Maunganui, Iyer managed 13 runs off nine deliveries. The latter was dismissed hit-wicket as he went too far back in the crease while trying to play Lockie Ferguson towards the leg side.

Poll : Will Rishabh Pant score 30+ runs in the final T20I against New Zealand?

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Edited by Sai Krishna
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