India face England in the second semi-final in Adelaide on Thursday, and the former head coach believes Pant is a match-winner and the right man for the finisher’s role.
However, Pant got out for just three in his only appearance in the showpiece, against Zimbabwe on Sunday.
“Dinesh (Karthik) is a lovely team player. But when it comes to a game against England or New Zealandjust seeing their attack, I think you need a robust left-hander, who can turn it on and a match-winner and a left-hander,” Shastri told Star Sports after India defeated Zimbabwe in their last group game.
“He did well against England. He won a game recently with his win against England, an ODI. I’ll go with Pant, not just because he played here but because of the X-factor angle that he can bring. to the semi-final.”
The former Indian all-rounder explained the reasons behind his choice.
“You play in Adelaide, short boundaries square, another reason why a left-hander needs to be there to disrupt the England attack. When you have too many right-handers there is a sense of sameness to it. England have a nice attack ., a diverse attack of left-handers and right-handers.
“You need a left-hander in your team, who can be dangerous and win you a match in the back overs, even if you have lost 3 or 4 wickets at the top,” said Shastri.