Rahul Dravid makes massive statement on under-fire Rishabh Pant’s T20 WC chances | Cricket – SportsMediaz

Under-fire Rishabh Pant’s chances in the India squad for the 2022 T20 World Cup has become the most-talked about topic in the cricket fraternity. A poor return with the bat in the recently-concluded home series against South Africa saw many ruling out the youngster for the big event in Australia later this year. And amid this debate, India head coach Rahul Dravid made a huge statement on Pant’s chances in the World Cup squad.

Pant, who led India to a 2-2 draw against South Africa in the five-match T20I series with the series decider abandoned due to rain on Sunday at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru, scored only 58 runs in five innings for India at a strike rate of just 105. But more than his run tally it has been his similar sort of dismissal that has led to the concern around his place in the India T20I set-up.

However, Dravid clarified on Sunday that Pant is a “big” and “integral” of India’s plan in the build-up to the T20 World Cup in Australia.

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“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.

The former India captain admitted that he won’t be judging Pant based on one series and highlighted the importance of a player of Pant’s calibre in the middle-order.

“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,” the head coach said.

In fact, Dravid reminded critics about Pant’s strike-rate of 158 plus during IPL 2022 where he scored 340 runs for Delhi Capitals.

“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.”

“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,” he said.

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