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Nasser Hussain predicts Pant comeback as India teammate is earmarked for greatness

Former England captain Nasser Hussain is hoping India star Rishabh Pant can make a successful return next year and is tipping one of his young teammates to elevate his game in 2024 and reach superstar status.

Pant has been on the sidelines since he suffered a nasty car crash at the end of last year, but the wicket-keeper/batter is making a strong recovery and is expected to return to the playing field prior to next year's ICC Men's T20 World Cup in the West Indies and the USA.

Video Video 29 Dec 23
Men's Comeback Heroes | Believing Is Magic | Coca-Cola

Hussain has been a long-time fan of Pant and his attacking philosophy and wants to see the talented 26-year-old return in time to make an impact in 2024.

"That was such a serious accident. The whole world held its breath and it has been a slow recovery,” Hussain said.

Video cwc19 24 Oct 21
Pant hits two one-handed sixes

"You follow on social media, on my phone and the initial first walking steps to then scenes in the gym and then scenes of him playing a bit of cricket, scenes of him with Ricky (Ponting).

"I travelled with Ricky in the summer in the Ashes, and Ricky was texting him ‘how's the progress coming along’, and he is a box office cricketer.”

With Pant sidelined, KL Rahul has stepped up in his absence to keep wickets and had an excellent tournament at the recent ICC Men's Cricket World Cup when amassing 452 runs at an average of 75.33.

"India have done well without him (Pant) as KL has come in and been brilliant in all formats," Hussain noted.

Video CWC23 06 Dec 23
Best of KL Rahul | CWC23
With three scores of over 50 and an average of 75, KL Rahul enjoyed a prosperous World Cup.

"They'll continue to be brilliant. They're lucky to have both of them, but Rishabh Pant, before his injury, was box office, and hopefully after his injury, will be box office as well."

While India have a plethora of strong batting options at their disposal, it is young opener Shubman Gill that Hussain is tipping to thrive in 2024 and beyond as he attempts to take his game to the next level and become one of the star players in the world.

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Men's Future Legends | Believing Is Magic | Coca-Cola

"He (Gill) had a very good three quarters, or nine tenths of 2023. You must have learned so much having the likes of Rohit Sharma at the other end," Hussain said.

Video CWC23 12 Nov 23
Gill unleashes in Bengaluru | CWC23
Shubman Gill hit four sixes during his fifty.

"He just fell away maybe at the end. Maybe that illness, you know, just got to him a little bit, and he's formed just in a month. We take it far too short when we're in the broadcasting world. He's a super talent, and he's going to be the next sensation for India for years to come. So, hopefully, he'll have a good 2024."