Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

Former Team India director and head coach Ravi Shastri wants the Men in Blue to stick with wicket-keeper batsman Rishabh Pant in the T20 World Cup semifinal against England.

As per Shastri, the flashy batter will bring in the X-factor in the shorter boundaries of Adelaide Oval.

India will lock horns with England in the second semifinal in Adelaide on Thursday, and the former all-rounder believes that Pant is a match-winner and the right man for the finisher’s role.

“Dinesh Karthik is a lovely team man. But when it comes to a game against England or New Zealand, I think you need a robust left-hander, who can turn the match on its head for you. Considering their bowling attack, Pant was the best alternative for you,” Shastri told Star Sports.

“Pant has done well against England. He recently won an ODI match on his own against England. I would go with Pant because of the X-factor angle he can bring to the all-important semifinal clash,” he said.

Explaining the reason further for Pant’s choice Shastri said, “Adelaide has short square boundaries and a left-hander should be there to disrupt the English attack. If you have too many right-handers, there is a sense of sameness to it.”

Notably, Pant got out for just three in his only appearance against minnow Zimbabwe in the showpiece event.