Former South African speedster and Sunrisers Hyderabad‘s bowling Dale Steyn expressed surprise over the fact that Rahul Tripathi hasn’t yet played for India in T20 internationals despite his impressive form since last year.
Tripathi took the role of a middle-overs enforcer for the Kolkata Knight Riders and played a crucial role in KKR reaching the final last season. He was then bought for 8.5 crore by SRH in the IPL 2022 mega-auction and has been a significant batter in SRH’s five wins so far.
He batted at a strike rate of 140 last season and has upped the ante further this year – for SRH he’s scored 228 runs in 8 innings at a strike rate of 174 and an average of 45. His strike rate in middle-overs this season is 180 which is the second-best – after Gaikwad’s 181 – for any batter with at least 100 runs in this phase; Gaikwad though has had the advantage of being set as an opener while Tripathi has come in at number 3 and batted aggressively right from the onset of his innings.
Glad to contribute
Great Team Effort
Let’s keep working hard@SunRisers pic.twitter.com/6FKx78Aapf
— Rahul Tripathi (@tripathirahul52) April 16, 2022
Steyn said that Tripathi now should force his way into the Indian T20I team following his IPL 2022 exploits.
“I certainly believe that Rahul has a serious chance of making it to India’s T20I team. The IPL is a platform that allows players to perform so well that the Indian national team selects players from that pool. It’s strange to see that he hasn’t got an opportunity in the Indian team so far,” Steyn told Sportskeeda.
While the Indian team comprises a number of anchor batters, experts feel that Tripathi could well be the impetus provider India needs. However, as Dale Steyn pointed out, the number position is occupied by Virat Kohli and it’d be almost impossible for Tripathi to get that slot.
“Given that the position he bats at [no. 3] is occupied by Virat Kohli in the Indian team, it’s going to be difficult to get that spot. But the way he’s currently playing and the way he has played in the past, he has certainly shown maturity. He’s putting his hand up and bashing the door down as hard as he can,” the SRH bowling coach added.