‘Should bat him at No. 4 or 5, it would help Rishabh Pant’: Uthappa suggests a rejig in India batting ahead of 2nd T20I


India won the opener in Jaipur on Wednesday by five wickets to take a series lead and will now be aiming to seal the contest with a win the second game.

Veteran Indian wicketkeeper-batsman Robin Uthappa has suggested a rejig in India’s batting line-up for the second T20I against New Zealand, slated to be played at the JSCA International Stadium in Ranchi. India won the opener in Jaipur on Wednesday by five wickets to take a series lead and will now be aiming to seal the contest with a win the second game. India vs New Zealand Live

Uthappa, in conversation with ESPNCricinfo, feels that the management should play Shreyas Iyer at No.3, instead of No.5 as in the previous game where he scored 5 off 8, and move Suryakumar Yadav to No.4 or 5 in a bid to provide support to Rishabh Pant.

“I think the guy (Suryakumar) brings in a sense of versatility and the fact that he can actually move up and down the batting order. I have seen him at No.5 and 6 and I have seen him do incredibly well in that position as well,” Uthappa said while speaking to ESPNCricinfo.

“I feel someone like Shreyas Iyer would fit really well in that No.3 position because he likes to take a little bit of time. Surya is not like that. Surya goes in there and gets going; and the array of shots that he has got, makes him a very dangerous batter in any position. So I think you should look to bat him at No. 4 or 5, so that (Rishabh) Pant’s got some support along there to finish games,” Uthappa explained.

Suryakumar had batted at No.3 for India in the opener and scored 62 off 40, lacing three sixes and six boundaries to help the team complete the chase of 165 with two balls to spare. Pant, on the other hand, struggled to find rhytyhm as he dealed with singles negore hitting the winning boundary, scoring 17 off 17 in the game.

Uthappa feels that it would help Pant grow as a “dependable finisher” for India.

“I think it will give him (Pant) a little bit of confidence. It will be something that will do him good as he moves forward into that same position, trying to finish innings; because India need a finisher, a dependable finisher. These small steps, as we move forward towards the World Cup, are going to be important steps for someone like Rishabh Pant.”

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Anjali Singh

Anjali Singh Born on 15 Jun 2001 an Indian author and activist from Firozabad in Uttar Pradesh. Live in New Delhi