Sunday, 15 Dec, 6.17 am Deccan Chronicle

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Batting coach Rathour says Pant can be India's X-factor

Chennai: Team India are known for their chasing prowess, but they have faltered in defending totals a few times in the recent past. India failed to defend a target of 171 in the second T20I recently. Batting coach Vikram Rathour, however, believes India have addressed the issue, especially after their performance in the T20 series finale.

'We are the number one team in the world while we are chasing targets and that was one box we ticked off. Batting first you need a different kind of fearlessness. While chasing we know our targets and plan our game plan better,' Rathour said.

'Batting first that is the one area that we need to look into. But the way we batted in the last game (T20I in Mumbai) was one big tick in the box. So looking forward to maintaining that and whenever the opportunity comes we will be looking to bat first and of course put scores on the board,' he added.

Talking about the top order doing the job and middle-order not getting enough chances, Rathour said: 'If the top-order is doing well, the middle order doesn't get enough balls. I don't think we can do anything as a team to address it. As far as the middle order is concerned we have got really good players in the team.'

KL Rahul played a key role in the T20 series. Rathour said the Karnataka batsman had gone through a lean patch and there were a few technical and mindset changes.

'He has always been a very good player. He went through a lean patch which every cricketer goes through. He worked really hard. There were a couple of technical changes, some change in mindset and it worked really well. He has always been a good player,' Rathour said.

When asked if Rahul as a wicketkeeper was an option, Rathour said: 'That is something the team management will have to see, of course, that is an option.'

Rishabh Pant who has been under scanner for the past few months, found a supporter in Rathour who believes the keeper-batsmen can be an X-factor for the Indian team when the right time comes.

'I think, the reason why we keep discussing is that he has got an immense ability. Everybody believes that he can be an X-factor. He has been backed by the selectors and the team management. All of us believe he is a good player who can come good. He is working hard on his game and fitness. We are hoping that he comes good.

'All of us believe that once he starts coming good, he can be a matchwinner for the team. He has been given opportunities because he has done well in past in this format. Once he starts getting runs I am sure he can be a massive player for India,' Rathour said.

Disclaimer: This story is auto-aggregated by a computer program and has not been created or edited by Dailyhunt. Publisher: Deccan Chronicle