‘Dhoni’s absence an opportunity for Pant’
There have been much talk regarding MS Dhoni not being in the Indian T20I squad against Windies, but captain Rohit Sharma believes this is an opportunity for young Rishabh Pant to shine.
While Dhoni’s batting form has been declining of late, Pant is well known for his prowess to strike the ball hard, and playing in absence of Dhoni means he has a golden chance to consolidate his place in limited overs cricket.
Rohit also mentioned the name of Dinesh Karthik ahead of the first T20I. Karthik is getting a fresh lease of life despite a career plagued by inconsistent form, and the Windies T20Is could equally provide him with plenty of chances he might have not even dreamt of.
“Dhoni has been such a massive player for us, over the years. His experience in the middle will be missed but again Rishabh (Pant) and Dinesh (Karthik) have great opportunity to come and perform and show what they are capable of as well. It gives them an opportunity to express themselves,” said Rohit, who was in great form in the ODI series.
Though the imminent series is of the 50-over format, Rohit termed it as an extension of the ongoing World Cup preparation. “We cannot go into the World Cup with limited resources. We need to have options. This gives you a great platform to try and test all these guys,” he said.
Rohit continued: “It’s very important because the amount of cricket we play, at the same time we got to see what our bench strength is. The players we are talking of are possible replacements to come and fill in. We have to see the guys who are knocking the door and what they bring to the table.”