IND vs ENG: Rishabh Pant makes World Cup debut

Rishabh Pant made his World Cup debut in India's league stage match against England at Edgbaston.

Pant came in to the World Cup squad as a replacement for the injured Shikhar Dhawan.   -  REUTERS

After much clamour for his inclusion, India handed a World Cup debut for wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant in a league fixture against host England at Edgbaston, Birmingham on Sunday.

The 21-year-old replaced Vijay Shankar, who has a toe niggle, in the playing XI and is expected to slot in to the number four position in the batting order.

Pant was originally not selected in the 15-man World Cup squad in April and was named a standby alongside Ambati Rayadu. When opener Shikhar Dhawan was ruled out of the tournament after a thumb injury, Pant was drafted in as a replacement on June 19.

Pant has only previously played four ODIs and his top-score being 36.

On Pant's inclusion, India skipper Virat Kohli said, "We've all seen what he can do with the bat. He'll bring a lot of flair and fearlessness. There is a small boundary for him to play for. Once he gets to 20, then it's a different ball game."

Pant backed his selection on the field when he took a catch at deep point to dismiss England opener Jonny Bairstow. Pant came in at number four for India's chase of 339 and scored a 29-ball 32 before being dismissed by Liam Plunkett

India went on to lose the game by 31 runs.

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