Since the 2021 World Cup, India’s opening position in the batting order has seen the greatest experimentation. Ishan Kishan has made the most appearances and has scored the most runs out of the position’s up to 11 hitters, including skipper Rohit Sharma. However, KL Rahul, who was certified as fit earlier this week, was chosen for the Asia Cup team instead of the left-handed batter to serve as India’s opener. However, Mahela Jayawardene, a legend of Sri Lanka, has endorsed Rishabh Pant to open for India in the T20 World Cup since Rahul, another left-hander has a fitness concern.

Rahul has not played for India since the IPL in 2022. Rahul will play for the first time in the next three-match ODI series against Zimbabwe before heading to the UAE for the Asia Cup due to ongoing injury worries.

However, Jayawardene, who has always backed a left-handed alternative at the top of the order and valued having a good left-hand, right-hand combination, has endorsed Pant to open for India in the T20 World Cup if Rahul is unable to recapture his form in the Asia Cup.

In the most recent edition of The ICC Review, Jayawardena said to Sanjana Ganesan, “He (Pant) has the potential to do that, even if he (open the batting) hasn’t done that (in domestic cricket) often.” “You won’t be able to alter his strategy no matter where he hits. Yes, there is a possibility (for Pant to open). He is going to be a very natural player.”

Only twice in T20I cricket matches thus far, during the series against England last month, has Pant opened for India. Throughout the two innings, he scored 26 runs in 20 balls, including six and four boundaries.

Pant had previously been mentioned as India’s white-ball opening batsman. Veterans and specialists in the sport have recently advised decision-makers and team management to consider the possibility and maximize his aggressive hitting in the context of fielding limitations.