Rishabh Pant came at number 4 in the first ODI, while he opened the innings in the second at the Narendra Modi stadium. KL Rahul was pushed to 4th spot in the batting order, considering his performance in the previous games. Former India cricketer Sunil Gavaskar feels one of the reasons behind the move was to provide a quick-fire start to India. If the move pays off it could be the template for the 2023 World Cup.

“I think it was done to take advantage of the field restrictions in the first powerplay. If the move pays off, the team would follow it in the 2023 World Cup. This is an experiment, make no mistake,” said Gavaskar.

The move failed as Pant scored 18 off 34 balls. Earlier, the 24-year old opened the innings 11 times for India in U19 ODIs between 2015 and 2016, scoring 454 runs at 41.27 with one century and four fifties. 

“May be this move was to give Pant a sense of responsibility. He has played reckless shots in the past and the team management wanted to teach him the importance of runs,” he added.

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