Former Australia spinner Brad Hogg believes that India wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant would be the best fit for the position of the No. 4 batsman for Team India.
India wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant (AP Photo)
- Hogg said that Pant is an aggressive player and will break the lines and lengths of the bowlers
- He also said that Pant is a good player of spin bowling and the 10-12 over mark is usually when spinners bowl
- India tried out Virat Kohli, Rishabh Pant and Hardik Pandya at the No. 4 spot during the series
After the T20I series win over England in Ahmedabad, India skipper Virat Kohli said that he would like to partner Rohit Sharma at the top of the innings more often.
This has now led to most people assuming that Kohli-Rohit will be opening the innings in the T20 World Cup. They could be followed by Suryakumar Yadav, who has done well in the two opportunities that he has got in the series against England.
Although India had Virat Kohli and Rishabh Pant coming out to bat at the No. 4 position during the series, former Australia spinner Brad Hogg believes that the India wicketkeeper-batsman would be the best fit for the role.
“Rishabh batting at No. 4 always. I think so because if you’re going to open with Rohit and Kohli and then have Suryakumar coming at 3, I think it will be a wise option to have the left-hander coming in at No. 4 just to break the lines and lengths of the bowling,” Hogg said on his YouTube channel.
Hogg also argued that Pant is a very good player of spin bowling and in most cases it is the No 4 batsman who ends up facing the maximum number of overs from the spinners.
“Also, because Pant is very dominant against spin and spinners normally come in those middle overs and are operating around the 10-12 over mark. That’s probably the area he’s most likely to come in. For me, Pant should always be out at No. 4 but if they lose two early wickets, I’d like to see (Shreyas) Iyer come in.”
Dynamic role of middle-order batsmen
India have anyway made it fairly clear that the batsmen in the middle-order are likely to switch positions depending on the requirement of the team.
In the fifth T20I against England, all-rounder Hardik Pandya had walked in at the No. 4 position when Suryakumar Yadav departed in the 14th over. He went on to partner skipper Virat Kohli and scored an unbeaten 39 off 17 balls.