Rahul Dravid Made A Big Statement Rishabh Pant’s T20 World Cup Chances: The 5-match T20I series between India and South Africa ended level at 2-2 after the series decider 5th match at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bengaluru was abandoned due to rain on Sunday. While the stand-in skipper Rishabh Pant was able to level the series, however, he came under the scanner for his inconsistent performances with the bat.
Rishabh Pant Is Struggling To Score Runs
In fact, his poor run with the bat in the recently-concluded home series against South Africa saw many ruling him out for the upcoming T20 World Cup, which is scheduled to take place in Australia later this year. His chances in the India squad for the 2022 T20 World Cup have become one of the most talked-about topics in the cricket fraternity.
In the 5-match T20I series, Pant scored only 58 runs from five innings, and as a result, questions were raised over his place in the shortest format.
Rahul Dravid Backed Pant
Meanwhile, amidst all the criticism over his poor form, Pant received words of encouragement from India head coach Rahul Dravid. Keeping an eye over the upcoming mega-event, Rahul Dravid made it clear that Pant is a “big” and “integral” part of the set-up heading into the marquee event in Australia.
“Personally, he would have liked to score a few more runs but it is not concerning him. Certainly, he is a very big part of our plans going ahead in next few months,” Dravid said during the post-match press conference.
“I just don’t want to be critical. In the middle overs, you need people to play slightly attacking brand of cricket, to take the game on a little more. Sometimes it’s very hard to judge it based on two or three games,” he added.
Further, Dravid feels that the keeper-batter had a pretty good IPL in terms of strike rate. During the IPL 2022, he managed to score 340 runs from 13 innings while leading the Delhi Capitals. His strike rate was 151.78. He said:
“I think he had a pretty good IPL in terms of strike-rate even though it might not have looked good on averages. In IPL, he looked to move up a little bit (in terms of averages) and probably three years ago he was on those numbers. We are hoping that we can get those numbers from him at the international level.”
Though there is a risk factor involved in Pant’s approach, but Rahul Dravid is ready to back home. He said:
“In the process (of playing an attacking game), he might go wrong in a few games but he remains an integral part of our batting line-up with the power he has and the fact that he is a left-hander is important to us in the middle overs, he played some good knocks,”
Dravid On Rishabh Pant’s Captaincy
Further, he also talked about Rishabh Pant’s captaincy and Dravid feels that he did well considering how team India bounced back from 0-2 down to draw the series. He said:
“To bring a team back from 0-2 down and to level it at 2-2 and give us a chance to win was good. Captaincy is not about wins and losses only. He (Pant) is a young captain, growing as leader. It is too early to judge him and you don’t want to do that after one series,” Dravid said.
“It was nice to see he has got opportunities to lead, keep and bat. He had a lot of load on him but gaining from that experience and credit to him for ensuring that we went from 0-2 down to 2-2,” he concluded.