India captain Rohit Sharma is confident that young Rishabh Pant will use the upcoming T20 series against West Indies as an ‘opportunity to express himself’ in the absence of the talismanic Mahendra Singh Dhoni.
Even though India will be playing the T20 format, Rohit termed the three-match series as an extension of the ongoing World Cup preparation. “We cannot go into the WC with limited resources. We need to have options. This gives you a great platform to try and test all these guys,” added Rohit, laying emphasis on the bench strength. “It’s very important because the amount of cricket we play, at the same time, we got to see what our bench strength is. The players we are talking of are possible replacements to come and fill in. We have to see the guys who are knocking the door and what they bring to the table.”
India has named uncapped left-arm spin duo of Krunal Pandya and Shahbaz Nadeem. “Nadeem has come into the team for the first time, Krunal (Pandya) was part of the team, but didn’t play any games. These are the few names who have come and we got to see what they have in their armoury for us to make the best possible squad for the WC,” remarked Rohit.
Talking about captaincy, Rohit said he’s a batsman first, but enjoyed the extra responsibility even as a stand-in leader. “It has helped me overall. I have enjoyed captaincy whenever I have got an opportunity and it does bring in a sense of responsibility when you lead the side you always want to lead from the front. I do understand that more so I am a player first, then a captain. My job as a player of the squad is to go out there and do well for the team. Captaincy is something I have enjoyed for the last few years.”