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T20 World Cup: Suresh Raina bats for Rishabh Pant, says presence of southpaw with Hardik Pandya could be X factor for India | Cricket News

KOLKATA: Former batter Suresh Raina feels left-handed Rishabh Pant could be next to the X factor for India Hardik Pandya in the coming ICC T20 World Cup.
With an injury to all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja throwing him out of the tournament, Pant, who has a stellar track record in Australiacould do what Yuvraj Singh and Raina once did with former skipper MS Dhoni.
Under Dhoni, India triumphed in the inaugural World T20 in 2007, the 2011 ODI World Cup, and the 2013 Champions Trophy, the last ICC tournament the team has won.
“I would say the presence of a left-handed batter in the center would be very important,” Raina said in an exclusive interview with PTI on Friday.
He added: “From number 1-6 we don’t have left-handers and I’m sure the opponents will have two to three left-handed bowlers. We’ve seen it in the past — 2007, 2011, and 2013 — the roles that Gauti, Yuvi Pa and I played.

“You have to bring the X factor to Hardik and who can the X factor be? I think it would be better if Rishabh is left handed,” the 35-year-old responded when asked if India would prefer Pant over Dinesh Karthik. the wicketkeeper batter.
A member of the 2011 World Cup and 2013 Champions Trophy winning teams, Raina went on to say that the left-right combination in the center is necessary to disrupt the rhythm of the rival bowlers.
“When Yuvi Pa and I played, we scared the opponents. Now Rahul and Rohit will have to decide how to go about it. I’m sure they have to think about it, but whoever they play, we have to win.”

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Karthik was the team’s designated finisher, but it’s unlikely India would go for two wicketkeeper batters in the same playing team.
“DK has been given a chance, he has been given a role. But I’m not saying whether they should choose Pant over DK. Whoever gets a chance must take a lot of responsibility and win the match,” said Raina, the first Indian to survive in all centuries. three formats of the game.
“A left-right combination can disrupt the rhythm, especially when the terrain in Australia is big. It’s important to have a left-handed batter in the middle. Pant did really well in Australia, winning the Test series there . So we’ll see.”


While the top four looks solid and should give a perfect start, Raina thinks star all-rounder Pandya would be key for India.
“Remember that Pandya would be the most important player for Team India. He will throw those crucial overs in the power play and some in the middle and his role would be most important when he comes to bat when we need 60-70 runs 30 So his role would be very important for Team India to win the World Cup.”
The Indian top four batters are in good contact and Raina said they needed to score big to take the pressure off Hardik.
“The opening partnership between Rohit and KL will be very, very crucial, they have all the big names in their repertoire. Then we have Virat, Surya in the top four.
“They have to score big runs like you’re going deep. You don’t have a batter other than Hardik who can hunt.”

Showing full confidence in skipper Rohit, he said: “He was there when India won the first World Cup in 2007, now he’s there as captain. I’m sure he can take the trophy home.
“I feel the team is in full form, we ticked all the boxes. It’s about getting 40 overs right and playing one game at a time. So getting a good start against Pakistan and getting the momentum will be very important .
“It will not be easy. They have to play their A game, there will be pressure, they have to work hard. Australia, England look strong and Pakistan and New Zealand are both doing well.”
It’s a perfect move to choose veteran pacer Mohammed Shami over the injured Jasprit Bumrah.

“Bumrah is our number 1 bowler, but we only have control over the controlables and Shami is the perfect replacement for him. It’s true he hasn’t played for a long time, but his seam position and hard decks in Australia would come in handy.”
Raina, who has been signed as Booking.com’s brand ambassador for the upcoming World Cup, is all set to travel to Australia and the Netherlands and will attend the final on November 13.

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