Ahmedabad: After being sent in to bat first by the make-shift West Indies skipper Nicholas Pooran, the viewers were in for a real surprise. India made one change in playing XI with Ishan Kishan making way for KL Rahul. While most of us would have thought, Rahul would open the batting with India skipper Rohit Sharma, the Indian think tank had other ideas.
Rishabh Pant for the first time in his career was opening the batting for India in ODIs and if it is anything to go by, we can be certain that Rahul is now seen as a middle-0rder option — a position he has done well in the past for India. For Pant. it might have come as a bit of a shocker but there is enough evidence there in the past to suggest that it can be a move that can change the course of the way India plays its white-ball cricket in the next ten years.
Shikhar Dhawan is at the fag end of his career, the 50-over World Cup next year might be his last tournament if he happens to make it in the squad. With no permanent solution to the opening combination, considering Rohit might have another three-four years left in the tank to play in the white-ball format (although it is a bit ambitious with all the injuries he has over the years), India might have to look beyond the Rohit-Dhawan combination and Pant can be an option and a great one too.
India might go the Sehwag way once again. If it comes off, it will be a master-stroke.