Spin legend Shane Warne feels India’s young wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant can play as a specialist batsman in the Indian One-day International team, backing him to open alongside Rohit Sharma in the upcoming Australia series, PTI reported.
With India closing in on 15-man squad for the World Cup, Pant got a solid endorsement from Warne. “There has been talk if Rishabh Pant can play in the side. I think Dhoni and Pant both can play,” Warne told India Today.
“I can’t see why Rishabh Pant can’t play as a batsman, he is outstanding. Maybe even open the batting with Rohit Sharma.
“I know Shikhar Dhawan does a great job but Rishabh Pant opening the batting with Rohit Sharma could be pretty cool too for India. Go with some of these X-factor type things and tactical battles, where you surprise the opposition,” said the Australian.
Warne wants India to experiment with their top-order in the upcoming home series against Australia, starting February 24 with the first T20. “It could be worth throwing Rishabh Pant at the top of the order for a couple of games and see how he goes. Maybe against Australia now and experiment and see how he goes for the World Cup.
“Dhawan may have a role to play somewhere else. But I am really looking forward to seeing what India have because they have a lot of players who can do a lot of roles,” said the 49-year-old.
Talking about Indian cricket, Warne said its national team can dominate the world for years. “I think India can now have a dominant time in world cricket if they can keep their players on the park, the players stay hungry and value the opportunity and be grateful to play Test cricket.
“Yes they can make money from IPL [Indian Premier League] and make a fortune. But if they can keep the hunger up to compete in the highest form of the game, that is tests, they can dominate world cricket for a long time,” Warne added.