Rishabh Pant is set to make his World Cup 2019 debut at Edgbaston, Birmingham against England. Pant will be replacing all-rounder Vijay Shankar who misses out due to a toe niggle.Shankar has scored just 58 runs in three games in the tournament.
Pant replaced Shikhar Dhawan in India’s squad as the latter fractured thumb on his way to a century against Australia earlier in the tournament. The wicketkeeper-batsman is also playing ahead of Dinesh Karthik who was selected in the original World Cup squad.
Rishab Pant to play !!!!!!!! #CWC19
— Michael Vaughan (@MichaelVaughan) June 30, 2019
Former Indian skipper Sourav Ganguly seemed happy with the decision to include the 21-year-old in the playing XI as he believes that the youngster will be the X-factor in the team.
Former English cricketers Michael Vaughan and Kevin Pietersen have backed the explosive batsman to be included in the Indian side. They were baffled when Pant was ignored while selecting the squad for World Cup despite recent performances.
“Once he gets going, he’s very difficult to stop.”#ViratKohli gave Rishabh Pant some big praise at the toss. How good could this youngster be?#CWC19 | #TeamIndia | #ENGvIND | #OneDay4Children pic.twitter.com/rRxteMa6A6
— Cricket World Cup (@cricketworldcup) June 30, 2019
Pant has played just five ODIs so far and scored 93 runs at an average of 23.25 and a strike rate of 130.98. However, he made his mark in the Indian Premier League (IPL) playing for Delhi Capitals (DC) scoring 488 runs from 16 matches which helped the franchise reach the playoffs.
Pant also played well in England during the Test series previous year becoming the first Indian wicketkeeper-batsman to score a century on English soil.