World Cup 2019: Rishabh Pant got nod for WC because he is lefty, says Sanjay Bangar
India's assistant coach Sanjay Bangar says Rishabh Pant got nod ahead of Rayudu as back-up for injured Dhawan since he is a left-hander
Although injured southpaw Shikhar Dhawan has not yet been ruled out of the World Cup, the Indian team management is taking no chances and has called for a back-up in explosive batsman Rishabh Pant.
Pant, who is holidaying with his family in Dubai, is expected to join the Indian team in Manchester where India take on Pakistan on June 16. There was hue and cry when Pant was not included in the 15-member team picked for the World Cup. He was then announced as a standby along with Ambati Rayudu.
India's assistant coach Sanjay Bangar explained the logic behind picking Pant over Rayudu: "He bats in the middle-order and obviously being a left-hander helps. He was named in the standbys as well so the team management has gone and picked him. The replacement is called so that a new player does not face the challenge of going straight into a match.
Until that point, just to make sure that if and when the replacement is required — and I'm saying if and when — then it is always good to have the replacement player coming in and practising with the team as a standby," he said.
According to Bangar, Dhawan is expected to be unavailable for at least three to four games. "As far as Shikhar is concerned, we'll be observing him, and around the 10th or 12th day, we'll get to know where he stands. We'll be in a better position to take a call because we don't want to rule out a precious player like Shikhar," said Bangar.
Total number of runs scored by Rishabh Pant in five ODIs
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