‘He is Our Number 3’: India Confirm Rishabh Pant’s batting position after Sparkling Show in New York

Written by Mohan Sharma

India have started their T20 World Cup 2024 campaign with an impressive win over Ireland. Even though the uneven pitch at the Nassau County Cricket Stadium in New York has dominated the headlines, the performances of a few India stars have also caught the eye.

Against Ireland in the first match of Group A, India produced an all-round show to first bowl out their opponents for 96 before chasing down the target in 12.2 overs for an eight-wicket win.

While bowlers were the star of the show, captain Rohit Sharma’s 52 off 37 and Rishabh Pant’s unbeaten 36 off 26 played a vital role in ensuring a smooth sailing on a challenging surface.

The batters had to be cautious on the pitch that was assisting the bowlers but Pant was unfazed despite copping a multiple blows to his body. He used the reverse scoop to hit the winning six off Barry McCarthy to seal the contest right after being hit on his arm.

Pant had also scored a quick fifty in India’s only warm-up match of the tournament against Bangladesh and the back-to-back impressive innings seem to have impressed the team management enough to hand the wicketkeeper-batter the vital no. 3 spot from Suryakumar Yadav who has been demoted a place to no. 4 now.

“Yes, he has been batting really well. The two games (warm-up and Ireland) he has played, he has looked really, really good,” India batting coach Vikram Rathour told the media after the match.

“Yes, at the moment he (Pant) is our No. 3 and it helps that he is a left-hander,” he added.

The Indian team will be delighted with the way allrounder Hardik Pandya has bowled so far given how he fared in the IPL 2024 recently. He finished with bowling figures of 3/27 from four overs.

“Hardik looked really good. Hardik has been — I mean, even in the practice game and even in the practice — bowling really well. He looks fit enough to go through four overs and he’s been bowling with some pace and some accuracy, so yeah, it’s great,” Rathour said.

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Mohan Sharma