Ind vs SA 2022 5th T20I – Rahul Dravid

Ind vs SA 2022 5th T20I – Rahul Dravid

India head coach Rahul Dravid has backed Rishabh Pant, saying he remains ‘an integral part’ of the team, despite the wicketkeeper only managing 58 points a 105.45 strike rate in the five T20Is against South Africa.
Going into this series, Pant had scored 340 carries at an average of 30.90 in IPL 2022. His tournament completion rate was 151.78, significantly higher than the last two editions – 113.95 in 2020 and 128 .52 in 2021. Dravid said the team expects him to play a similar attacking role at international level as well.

“When you ask people to play a slightly more attacking brand of cricket in the middle and take the game a bit more, sometimes it’s hard to judge based on two or three games,” Dravid said after the wash- fifth T20I in Bangalore.

“I thought he had a pretty good IPL. He might not have looked good on averages, but his strike rate was really good. He looked to increase a bit – where he was probably three years ago. We are hopefully we can get those kind of numbers from him at international level as well. In that process, he might go wrong in a few games.

“But he’s still an integral part of our batting team. We know what he’s doing with the power he has. The fact that he’s left-handed is also very important to us in the middle overs. And he’s played a few good shots. Of course, personally, he would have liked to score a few more points, but that’s not so worrying. For us, he is certainly a very big part of our plans for the next few months.

Dinesh Karthik, meanwhile, continues to impress in the niche role as a strictly last five overs hitter. In the fourth T20I at Rajkot, Karthik had smashed a 55 from 27 balls, the kind of shot that Dravid said “definitely gets you started”. Karthik and Hardik Pandya, who hit 46 from 31 deliveries, had added 65 from 33 balls to take India to 169, which turned out to be a winning total.

“He was chosen for a very specific skill,” Dravid said of Karthik. “And it’s good when it kind of indicates that it came together brilliantly for us in the Rajkot game, where we needed that great performance in the last five overs to be able to make a normal score. Him and Hardik [Pandya] beat beautifully for us; both are our enforcers at the end, guys who can capitalize on those last five or six overs.

“They’re probably two of the best in the world in those last five-six overs. So, yeah, it was really nice to see Karthik come out and do what he was chosen to do. It certainly opens up a lot more options for us in the future. Rounds like this definitely get you started. Like I used to tell the guys, it’s not about knocking on the door – you have to start knocking on the door, and a round like this -that certainly means that he hits very hard.

“Shryas, at the beginning [of the series] on tricky wickets, showed intent and played positively. Ruturaj showed in a particular round [in the third T20I] what quality and skill he has.”

Indian coach Rahul Dravid

With Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul and Virat Kohli not being part of the series, fringe players had a chance to present their cases. Ishan Kishan scored 206 points – by far the most in the series – with a strike rate of 150.36, but Ruturaj Gaikwad and Shreyas Iyer failed to impress. Gaikwad had just 96 runs in five innings at a 131.50 strike rate and Iyer had 94 runs at 123.68. But Dravid is not disappointed with them.

“We’re not going to do knee-jerk reactions,” he said. “As you’ve seen, I don’t like to judge people after a series or a game. Every one of the guys that got the opportunity here really deserved that opportunity; they earned it. And in this format of play , you’re going to have some good games and some bad games.

“I think Shreyas, at first [of the series] on some tricky wickets, showed a lot of intention and played very positively for us. Ruturaj showed in a particular round [in the third T20I] what quality and competence he has.

“In Twenty20 you can have odd games [where] your form and performance go up and down a bit. We are therefore not very disappointed with anyone. As a group, we were looking from the start to play a bit more positive and attacking cricket. And we knew you that when you try to do that, it’s not always going to happen. But what we clearly know about the type of cricket we want to play.”

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.