IND vs NZ, 1st T20I: Rishabh Pant's Best Position Is At The Top Of The Order, Says Wasim Jaffer

In absence of Dinesh Karthik, Rishabh Pant will get to feature in India's playing XI after missing the opportunity in many T20 World Cup matches.

IND vs NZ, 1st T20I: Rishabh Pant's Best Position Is At The Top Of The Order, Says Wasim Jaffer
India wicketkeeper-batter Rishabh Pant while playing a shot against England in the T20 World Cup semifinal at Adelaide Oval. (Photo: ANI)

A rejuvenated Indian team will look to tackle experienced New Zealand in the first T20I of the three-match series commencing on Friday. Following their semifinal exit from the recently concluded T20 World Cup, the focus is to build the new T20I team with youngsters to bring the much talked 'intent' to the side.

Ahead of the first T20I, former India batter Wasim Jaffer has picked the best position for wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant in the T20I side. As per the veteran batter, Pant should open the innings as his usual batting position no. 4 or 5 is already sealed by in-form Suryakumar Yadav and skipper Hardik Pandya.

"I don't think Rishabh has batted there (finisher). He has batted at No. 4 or No. 5 even for the Delhi Capitals, but those places are sealed by Surya and Hardik. I feel that when the field is up and if Rishabh Pant gets going then he is a dangerous player. His best position is at the top of the order." Jaffer told ESPNCricinfo.

It will be a big occasion for Pant after missing four out of six matches for Men in Blue in a showpiece event in Australia.

"Once he gets a start and is 20-30 not out in the powerplay then he is dangerous. Then even if the fielders are out, it doesn't matter to him. But when he comes to bat at No. 5, the field is already out and the pressure is on him. It is difficult for him to hit sixes straightaway. He is such a player from whom you can expect a blistering start," Jaffer added.

Wasim Jaffer’s Indian XI for 1st T20I vs New Zealand: Shubman Gill, Rishabh Pant (WK), Shreyas Iyer, Suryakumar Yadav, Hardik Pandya (C), Deepak Hooda, Washington Sundar, Harshal Patel, Kuldeep Yadav/Yuzvendra Chahal, Mohammed Siraj, Arshdeep Singh.

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