IND vs NZ 2021: “He is giving youngsters a free hand” - Salman Butt impressed with Rohit Sharma’s leadership skills

Team India members following the win over New Zealand in the third T20I. Pic: Getty Images
Team India members following the win over New Zealand in the third T20I. Pic: Getty Images
Renin Wilben Albert

Former Pakistan batter Salman Butt is highly impressed with the leadership skills of India’s new T20I skipper Rohit Sharma. Butt praised Rohit for giving the young guns in the team a chance to express themselves.

India defeated New Zealand 3-0 at home in Rohit’s maiden assignment as full-time skipper of the T20I team. Having won the first two matches by five and seven wickets respectively, they registered a clean sweep by thumping the Kiwis by 73 runs in the final T20I on Sunday in Kolkata.

Reviewing Rohit’s leadership in the series against New Zealand, Butt said that there was a lot to like about him as a leader. He stated on the YouTube channel:

“He is giving youngsters a free hand and giving them chances. When Ishan Kishan was playing, he was expressing himself freely. He was guiding him as well. As an experienced player and as a captain, this is the best way you can present yourself in front of youngsters.”
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Butt, himself a former captain, added that learning from seniors out in the middle is the best way youngsters can improve their game. The 37-year-old commented:

“Guidance of senior players is very important because youngsters learn from them on the go. His bowling changes were spot on. Also, Rohit has good back-up, which is a cushion for him as captain. What India need now is two fast bowlers in T20s.”

With seniors like Virat Kohli, Jasprit Bumrah and Ravindra Jadeja being rested, India handed out debuts to Venkatesh Iyer and Harshal Patel in the T20I series against New Zealand.

“He needs to keep playing and keep himself fit” - Salman Butt on Rishabh Pant

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The batting form of Rishabh Pant has been a concern since the start of the England Tests and he did not look in great rhythm against New Zealand as well. Asked whether the dashing wicketkeeper-batter also needed a break from the game, Butt countered that, being young, he should play as many games as possible.

The former Pakistan cricketer opined:

“Pant is a youngster. Instead of being given rest, he needs to keep playing and keep himself fit. Remember, India have Ishan Kishan as well, who is a very good batter and can also keep wickets.”

24-year-old Pant registered scores of 17*, 12* and 4 in the three T20Is against New Zealand. Incidentally, he has been rested for the two-match Test series against the Kiwis, which begins on November 25.

Edited by Samya Majumdar
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