Rishabh Pant was rested, and not dropped, for the ODIs next to Australia, Indian chief selector MSK Prasad clarified on Sunday (January 13), while adding that the wicketkeeper-batsman was very much part of the World Cup plans.
“Rishabh Pant played three T20Is and four Test matches in Australia and that had a brunt on his body,” Prasad told PTI. “He needed absolute rest for two weeks and then we will take a call on how many matches he will play against England. Let me put it at once, he is very much in our World Cup plans.”
“He is a champion player in the making and even he is not fully conscious the kind of potential he has,” Prasad said. “He proved that he can switch gears flawlessly. When we picked him for Tests, experts were skeptical about his keeping but 11 catches in a Test, record dismissals in Australia series proves that selection committee is justified.”
“But a lot of credit should go to Jasprit because Arun gave him a plan but it was up to him to make the effort to execute the plan. He has really worked hard. When we first picked him, so many were doubting whether it was cautious to pick a white-ball specialist but at the end of the year, we can all see the results.”
Prasad also spoke on the addition of Shubman Gill for the New Zealand tour, and what role he would be projected to play.
“Shubman is peaceful both opening the innings as well as playing in the middle-order. For the New Zealand series, we are looking at him as the set-aside opener behind Shikhar (Dhawan) and Rohit (Sharma),” Prasad said. “I won’t comment if he will make it to World Cup but he was exceptional as an opener for India A in New Zealand.
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