Delhi batsman Rishabh Pant, who has impressed one and all with his ball striking ability in IPL and in domestic cricket, was named in the 15-member India squad last week for the upcoming T20I tri-series involving Bangladesh and hosts Sri Lanka.
Ecstatic with the national call-up, the 20-year-old Rishabh on Monday (March 5) said that he is not taking the tri-series in Sri Lanka as a make-or-break and is only thinking about winning games for India.
“You can’t say make-or-break for me, I’m just 20 years old. I will try to grab the opportunity. I want to contribute in a winning cause. If I think on these lines, how will I perform?,” Pant told The Indian Express.
“Everybody says I am good. At the end of the day, all boils down to your performance. You can’t be good or bad in one day. If somebody is saying you are good and you don’t score runs then what is the use of being good? What matters is runs. If you perform the whole world is happy. I always feel when you go inside the dressing room after the day’s play, you should be satisfied that you gave your best shot. You might get out early. But giving your best is the key,” he added.
In a bizarre state of affairs, the Delhi & Districts Cricket Association had sacked Pant from the state captaincy in January this year. The decision has left a lot of people awestruck since Delhi had reached the final of Ranji Trophy this season under Pant.
Talking about his stint as a captain of Delhi, Rishabh said that it is a highly demanding job and he won’t like to do it for the next five years.
“Captaining a team like Delhi is full of pressure. Now I won’t do it, at least for the next five years. For me, it’s important now to keep my focus. I will give more than 100 per cent. I want to concentrate more on my performance,” Pant asserted
“Pressure hota hai, expectation jyada hai. I don’t want to take too much pressure on myself at this juncture . I want to focus more on my game. I want to contribute more to my team, I can do all these things without being captain. In my state, we have senior players like Ishant (Sharma) bhaiyya and Gauti bhaiyya (Gautam Gambhir). They are there to do captaincy, I don’t think I’m needed for this task at this moment,” he explained.
Hailed as MS Dhoni’s successor, Pant has apparently put some serious hard yard to improve his wicketkeeping skills. When asked to shed some light on this topic, he said: “There is no specific. Once you progress, you just do minute changes. You can’t say that I have played for India, so I don’t need to learn. Till the time you feel and intend to keep the hard work, you will do well.”
Pant also added that he don’t take extra pressure by thinking about the successor of India’s legendary wicketkeeper batsman MS Dhoni.
“I never thought, first of all. I played cricket with the sole aim of playing for India one day, for as long as possible. I never thought about the hype. My job has always been to perform,” he stated.
“I keep myself grounded. The mantra of achieving anything in life is simple… Mehnat. You be grounded or not, if you are working hard, you will do well. I don’t think about anything else,” he elaborated.
Pant concluded by taking about his temperament that often becomes the talk of the town.
“These are made up by media. What is wrong in playing an attacking shot to a bad ball? Media said I don’t keep wickets well, selectors say I am ok . What I have learned from all the bhaiyyas is to keep your focus, give your best on the field and not to think about the world outside,” Rishabh Pant signed-off.
Team India squad for Nidahas T20 Tri-series 2018:
Rohit Sharma (Capt), Shikhar Dhawan (vc), KL Rahul, Suresh Raina, Manish Pandey, Dinesh Karthik (wk), Deepak Hooda, Washington Sundar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Axar Patel, Vijay Shankar, Shardul Thakur, Jaydev Unadkat, Mohammad Siraj, Rishabh Pant (wk).