India won the T20I series against England on Saturday, beating the hosts by 49 runs in the second match at Edgbaston. The visitors defended a 171-run target as England were bowled out for 121.

In a surprising move, Rishabh Pant opened the batting with Rohit Sharma. He scored 26 off 15 balls, with India reaching 61 in merely 6.2 overs.

The move was lauded by former India cricketer Sanjay Manjrekar. He feels Pant will open the batting for India in the ICC T20 World Cup in Australia.

“Rishabh Pant was moved up to open the innings. Suryakumar Yadav played because Pant was included as an opener,” said Manjrekar.

“Pant has the quality and he has done well in Test cricket. He plays the ball well. I can imagine him opening the batting in the ICC T20 World Cup.”

However, Manjrekar also pointed out that Pant opening the batting has increased concerns for Virat Kohli and KL Rahul. While Rahul is recovering from his groin surgery, Virat is struggling for runs.

“This move has made things difficult for KL Rahul and Virat Kohli. Rahul will have to bat at No.3 and Virat could be dropped as Pant can’t be a one-match wonder as an opener.”

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