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Sunil Gavaskar wants Rishabh Pant to feature in home ODI series against Australia

Dhoni's absence an opportunity for Pant

The Indian team have recently won the five-match ODI series against New Zealand at their backyard. They will play three T20Is against the same opposition before welcoming the Australian team for the full-fledged series. The former Indian cricketer, Sunil Gavaskar wants the left-handed batsman, Rishabh Pant in the squad for the home ODI series against Australia.

Pant returned to home as he was replaced by the former skipper, MS Dhoni in the T20I squad. The veteran wicket-keeper batsman made a strong comeback and won the Man of the Series award in the Australia ODIs while Pant is yet to cement his place in ODIs.

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He made his ODI debut against Windies in 2018 but could only score 41 runs from 2 innings. Rishabh Pant has been tremendous with both the bat and gloves. He was a part of India’s playing eleven in all five Tests played against Australia.

He smashed an unbeaten 159 in the final game in Sydney and ended the Test series as India’s second-leading run-getter with 350 runs at an average of 55. So, the team management provided him with the rest to keep him fresh for the upcoming Cricket World Cup.

After the final ODI game between India and New Zealand, speaking to Star Sports, the former Indian skipper, Sunil Gavaskar said that he would see Rishabh Pant in the squad for the World Cup 2019.

“I would also keep Rishabh Pant. He brings that left-handedness in the top line-up as well. And I would look at playing him in the team. I will look to play him in the five one-dayers that India plays against Australia in about two weeks time,” Gavaskar said.

“That will give us a fair idea about how the young kid is shaping up and give him some little more responsibility at say 4 or 5 because at No.6 or 7 he is just going to bang…bang and blast it around and that is not what you want to see… All I am saying, take a punt with Rishabh Pant,” he concluded.

The five-match ODI series between India and Australia will begin on March 2 before playing two T20Is. This will be India’s last series before facing South Africa on June 5 at the 2019 Cricket World Cup.

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