Cricket

IND vs WI first ODI: Pant can be the ‘X’ factor, says Rathour

India’s batting coach Vikram Rathour addresses the media on the eve of the first ODI against West Indies in Chennai on December 14, 2019.

India’s batting coach Vikram Rathour addresses the media on the eve of the first ODI against West Indies in Chennai on December 14, 2019.   | Photo Credit: B. Jothi Ramalingam

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Rathour played down concerns about the middle-order not getting enough opportunity owing to the top-order’s exploits.

India’s batting coach Vikram Rathour laid out a strong case for persisting with wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant despite the youngster’s lean patch with the bat. 

Ahead of the first ODI on Sunday, Rathour explained the reasons for the long rope given to the 22-year-old Delhi player. 

“The reason why we keep discussing him is that he has got an immense ability. Everybody (the selectors and team management) believes he can be the ‘X’ factor. He is working hard on his game and fitness and we hope he comes good. Once he starts coming good, he can be a match-winner. He has been given an opportunity because he has done well in this format in the past,” said Rathour.

 When asked if Pant needed a break considering the intense criticism he has come under, Rathour said, “I don’t think the time has arrived yet (for a break). I think he is working on certain things, he is looking good in the nets and we are just hoping he comes good. 

“He has played a couple of reasonable innings in the last few games in the T20s. Even in the last game, he was asked to do a certain job which he did, that’s what the team looks for. It didn’t come off which happens on certain days.”

On the issues with the middle-order, Rathour said the fact that top-order has done the bulk of the scoring meant the middle-order has often not had enough time.

“That’s a difficult problem to address when the top-order is doing well. 

“You are right, they are not getting enough balls to bat but I don’t think we can do anything as a team to address it,” said the former India opener.

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Printable version | Jan 20, 2020 6:04:07 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/cricket/india-vs-west-indies-first-odi-in-chennai-batting-coach-vikram-rathour-press-conference/article30306011.ece

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