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EXCLUSIVE | Rishabh Pant Should Have Opened With KL Rahul: Former India Coach After Humiliating Exit in T20 WC
Gaikwad, who was candid enough in taking most questions, reckoned Rishabh Pant with Rahul as openers would have been a good option.
Delhi: A little over a week back, Rohit Sharma-led India – who were contenders to win the T20 World Cup 2022 in Australia – crashed out of the competition in a humiliating manner. India was thrashed by England by 10 wickets in the semi-final at the Adelaide Oval. While the axe after the loss came down on the selection committee, the intent of the players was questioned. Indian openers Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul could not get the right start during the campaign in Australia and that was a major talking point after the exit.
Was there a need to try someone new at the top was the question India.com and CricketCountry posed to former India coach Anshuman Gaekwad in an exclusive LIVE Facebook session. Gaikwad, who was candid enough in taking most questions, reckoned Rishabh Pant with Rahul as openers would have been a good option.
“Maybe have Rishabh Pant at the top with KL Rahul and play captain Rohit Sharma at No. 4. That would allow Rohit to get back in form. Pant could have made the difference you never know,” Gaekwad said during the session.
Dinesh Karthik edged Pant in the side. Unfortunately, Karthik picked up a niggle and had to be rested for the last Group stage game versus Zimbabwe. In the semi-final, the side stuck with Pant. While experts reckoned Pant should have been opening, he was made to play at No. 5 after Suryalumar Yadav in the batting order.
Apart from a change of openers, Gaekwad also justified Yuzvendra Chahal’s non-inclusion. He said the XI must have been picked after looking at various factors. He also said that too much chopping and changing midway through a competition is not the right thing to do.