Rishabh Pant can’t waste chances, may get replaced by Dinesh Karthik: Harbhajan Singh

The experimental phase of the Indian cricket team continues as the Men in Blue seek to strike a perfect balance before the upcoming 2019 World Cup. The BCCI has already started resting key players, with Virat Kohli, Jasprit Bumrah being given a break ahead of the World Cup in England and Wales. Even Kuldeep Yadav was rested from the first two T20Is against the Kiwis. While the experimentation is going on in the side, the fans have witnessed the likes of Rishabh Pant, Shubman Gill, Vijay Shankar, Krunal Pandya, Mohammed Siraj getting opportunities to prove their mettle ahead of the World Cup.

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Veteran spinner Harbhajan Singh has voiced his opinion on Pant’s form as he was left disappointed with the flamboyant batter’s shot selection in the first T20I against New Zealand. Pant, who came to bat at No. 4 in the first match, was clean bowled by Mitchell Santner for just four runs. Harbhajan while stating that Pant is a talented cricketer said he needs to make big on the limited opportunities or else Dinesh Karthik would take his spot.

The experimental phase of the Indian cricket team continues as the Men in Blue seek to strike a perfect balance before the upcoming 2019 World Cup. The BCCI has already started resting key players, with Virat Kohli, Jasprit Bumrah being given a break ahead of the World Cup in England and Wales. Even Kuldeep Yadav was rested from the first two T20Is against the Kiwis. While the experimentation is going on in the side, the fans have witnessed the likes of Rishabh Pant, Shubman Gill, Vijay Shankar, Krunal Pandya, Mohammed Siraj getting opportunities to prove their mettle ahead of the World Cup.

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Veteran spinner Harbhajan Singh has voiced his opinion on Pant’s form as he was left disappointed with the flamboyant batter’s shot selection in the first T20I against New Zealand. Pant, who came to bat at No. 4 in the first match, was clean bowled by Mitchell Santner for just four runs. Harbhajan while stating that Pant is a talented cricketer said he needs to make big on the limited opportunities or else Dinesh Karthik would take his spot.  

“I was a bit disappointed with his [Pant’s] shot selection. He tried to reverse sweep the fast bowler a couple of times. When you see a batsman playing shots like that, it tells he is not backing himself,” Harbhajan Singh told Sports Tak.

“He has to understand his game and strengths and play accordingly. He has all the shots in the book. He should keep the reverse sweep as the last option but he should keep it as his last option,” the off-spinner added.

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Harbhajan further praised Karthik by saying that the veteran cricketer is a proper batsman and has done well in the last few matches as he warned Pant to not waste his chances and grab on the opportunities.

“Rishabh is a talented cricketer and that’s why we are backing him a lot. We know he can be a big match-winner. But if he keeps wasting his chances, keeps on playing innings and keeps making such shot selections, then I feel, Dinesh Karthik may take his spot,” said Harbhajan.

“Dinesh Karthik is a proper batsman… he has been doing enough in the last few matches as well. So I think, Rishabh Pant needs to get going in the upcoming matches,” he added.

It remains to be seen which player between Pant and Karthik is selected as the back-up to MS Dhoni for the ICC World Cup.

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