VVS Laxman bats for Rishabh Pant in limited-over setup over Sanju Samson
Rishabh Pant has had a poor New Zealand tour
The third ODI between New Zealand and India has been called off, with the Men in Blue losing the series with a scoreline of 1-0. One prime reason for the Shikhar Dhawan-led unit's failure has been their batting.
Both of them run for one spot in India's ODI team, but they together in the first ODI where both Pant and Samson failed to leave a mark. After the loss, the latter was replaced by Deepak Hooda due to the lack of a sixth bowling option.
This move made by the VVS Laxman-led management has received a lot of backlash. However, the stand-in head coach has backed his idea behind backing the young southpaw over the 28-year-old batter.
"The Indian team is fortunate that we have had a pool of talented players. Pant did well at No.4. Two matches ago, he had won India at Old Trafford. He is a match-winner and it is important to support him."
Meanwhile, regular Indian head coach Rahul Dravid has also called the Delhi batter a fiery and aggressive cricketer, because of which he has also given Pant ample opportunities to play in the team.
Earlier on this tour, both T20I and ODI captains - Hardik Pandya and Dhawan - have coined Samson's exclusion as an unfortunate case.