India vs South Africa: Dravid backs ‘struggle’ Pant, says this about stand-in captain

Team India head coach Rahul Dravid on Sunday (June 19) made it clear that Rishabh Pant is a ‘big’ and ‘integral’ part of the set-up in the 2022 T20 World Cup in Australia. Pant, who led the team in the five-match series against South Africa that ended in a 2-2 draw after the last game was abandoned due to rain, could manage only 58 runs in five innings, leading to some questions. Got up His place in the shortest format. However, Dravid was very clear that Pant is not going anywhere.

“Personally, he would have liked to score a few more runs, but that doesn’t belong to him. Certainly, he is a huge part of our plans over the next few months,” Dravid said during the post-match press conference in Bengaluru.

He was clear that he would not judge anyone on the basis of a single series – be it batting form or captaincy. “I just don’t want to be critical. In the middle overs, you guys need to play a little bit of aggressive cricket to take the game a little bit more. Sometimes it’s very difficult to judge on the basis of two or three matches It is,” said the head coach.

In fact, Dravid was impressed with Pant’s strike-rate of over 158 during IPL 2022, where he scored 340 runs for Delhi Capitals. “I think he had a very good IPL in terms of strike-rate, even if it doesn’t look good on average. In the IPL, he looked a little bit ahead (in terms of average) and maybe three years ago he was going to be one of those players. We’re on the numbers. We’re hoping we can get those numbers from him at the international level.

Pant is a high risk Sport that comes with a price and the coach is willing to pay the price by looking at the bigger picture. “In the process (of playing the attacking game), he can go wrong a few games, but he remains an integral part of our batting line-up and the fact that he is left-handed is important. Us in the middle overs, he played some good innings,” he said.

Regarding his captaincy, Dravid felt that Pant did well considering that he led the team in a 0-2 down series. “It was good to bring a team down 0-2 and level it at 2-2 and give us a chance to win. Captaincy is not just about winning and losing. He (Pant) is a young captain, who is growing into a leader. It is too early to judge him and you don’t want to do that after one series.

“Great to see that he has got opportunities to lead, keep and bat. There was a lot of weight on him, but credit goes to him for taking advantage of that experience and making sure we went down from 0-2 to 2-2,” said the coach.

(with PTI input)