With pressure mounting on the Indian team management to drop Vijay Shankar and include Rishabh Pant, there are cricket experts who still think India should include Shankar in their World Cup clash against England on June 30.
With just 58 runs in three innings, Shankar’s batting performance and eventual place in the playing XI have come under the radar despite India’s winning run in the tournament. So should India replace Shankar with Pant?
Amidst this confusion, former England cricketer Kevin Pietersen has taken a cheeky dig at Virat Kohli and head coach Ravi Shastri, asking the duo to continue playing Vijay Shankar ahead of Rishabh Pant against England in the much-anticipated clash on Sunday at Edgbaston.
“Dear Virat & Ravi – please don’t drop Vijay Shankar. I think he’s coming into his own and would potentially win you tomorrow’s game,” Pietersen tweeted.
Pietersen added that 21-year-old Pant, who has been drafted in the 15-member India squad as a replacement to injured opener Shikhar Dhawan, is still not ready for a World Cup game and needs at least three weeks to prepare himself.
“Don’t think about Pant. He needs another 3 weeks prep before I think he can get into your World Cup side,” he wrote.
Dear Virat & Ravi – please don’t drop Vijay Shankar.
I think he’s coming into his own and would potentially win you tomorrow’s game.
Don’t think about Pant. He needs another 3 weeks prep before I think he can get into your World Cup side.
— Kevin Pietersen🦏 (@KP24) June 29, 2019
India are currently placed second in the table with 11 points in their kitty from six matches. Notably, the Men in Blue are unbeaten in the tournament so far with a rain-washed game against New Zealand. Meanwhile, England – the pre-tournament favourites – have eight points from seven games and are struggling to find a place in the final four.