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Sanjay Manjrekar explains why Rishabh Pant got the nod over Suryakumar Yadav in 2nd ODI

Rishabh Pant
Rishabh Pant
Modified 26 Mar 2021

Former player Sanjay Manrekar has explained why Rishabh Pant replaced the injured Shreyas Iyer in the Indian playing XI in the second ODI against England in Pune.

Manjrekar said that an in-form Rishabh Pant cooling his heels on the bench 'weighed' on the Indian team management. So the big-hitting wicketkeeper-batsman got the nod ahead of Shubman Gill and Suryakumar Yadav.

Rishabh Pant justified his selection in the XI with a blistering 77 off 40 balls, helping India to a mammoth 336-5. Manjrekar said Pant's inclusion wasn't a difficult call, given his purple patch across formats in recent games.

"Well, the reason is obvious. It was like Rishabh Pant sitting out there on the bench was weighing on the Indian team management. The kind of form Rishabh Pant has shown of late, just the self-confidence, you have to make some use of that. They had to leave him out and give KL Rahul an extra match and just get him back in the scheme of things. I was sure it was a tough call, and it must have been something which must have created pressure on the team management. " Manjrekar said in a chat on ESPNCricinfo.

The former player said that Suryakumar Yadav was an enticing option, but Pant's destructive prowess and recent form helped him get the nod, explaining:

"The first chance they get, they have to get Rishabh Pant back in. Suryakumar Yadav had a strong claim as well, Shubman Gill too and Ishan Kishan, all these guys there, but Rishabh Pant's current form, the kind of ability he has, the devastation he potentially can create, it's hard to leave him out. I am perfectly ok with the call, and I can understand why this call has been made. Having said that, he has to keep wickets."

Rishabh Pant came in to bat at no. 5 after the dismissal of Virat Kohli. The left-hander played his part in a 113-run stand with KL Rahul, which eventually paved the way for a mammoth total.

Rishabh Pant tears into England bowlers

Rishabh Pant (right)
Rishabh Pant (right)

Back in the ODI team after missing the Australia series, Rishabh Pant hit the ground running.

The left-hander made his intentions clear by lofting Adil Rashid for a maximum before hitting two sixes off Ben Stokes. The Curran brothers were the next to suffer, with the younger Curran getting hit for a sensational one-handed six by Rishabh Pant.

After bringing up his second ODI fifty off only 28 balls, Rishabh Pant continued his carnage, bringing up his highest score in the format. However, when a maiden ODI hundred looked on the cards, Pant holed out to Jason Roy for 77 off 40 balls after hitting three fours and seven glorious sixes.

Nevertheless, thanks to Rishabh Pant's blitzkrieg, Team India have a good chance of clinching the series with a game to spare.

Published 26 Mar 2021, 18:26 IST
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