Nidahas Trophy 2018: Will try to grab the opportunity in Sri Lanka, says Rishabh Pant
What's the story?
Young wicket-keeper batsman Rishabh Pant is focussed on contributing for the senior India side and utilising every chance that comes his way in the upcoming Nidahas Trophy in Sri Lanka.
“I will try to grab the opportunity. I want to contribute in a winning cause,” the big-hitting Pant told The Indian Express in an interview.
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India have opted for a second-string squad for the Nidahas Trophy, which will be a T20 tri-series with Sri Lanka and Bangladesh being the other teams. All of the seniors Virat Kohli, MS Dhoni and Bhuvneshwar Kumar alongside Hardik Pandya and Jasprit Bumrah have been rested, thus opening the door for a string of youngsters like Pant, Vijay Shankar, Deepak Hooda, Washington Sundar and Mohammad Siraj.
However, Pant will be entering the series having played only two T20 matches for India, the last of which came at against West Indies at Kingston in July 2017, a match in which he had scored 38.
The heart of the matter
With high expectations from the 20-year-old, India's selectors have rewarded him for his attacking approach, as he has the ability of successfully plundering runs at a brisk pace. However, captaining his state Delhi seemed to have bogged him down early.
“Now I won’t do it, at least for the next five years. I want to concentrate more on my performance. we have senior players like Ishant [Sharma] bhaiya and Gauti bhaiya [Gautam Gambhir]. They are there to do captaincy, I don’t think I’m needed for this task at this moment.” said Pant, who wants to focus more on his batting in the coming times.
The Nidahas Trophy tri-series begins on March 6 with hosts Sri Lanka taking on India. Following two round-robin matches, the final takes place on March 18 with all matches scheduled for the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo.
Undoubtedly, Pant has smashed multiple records in domestic cricket and even done well for India in the Under-19 World Cup in 2016. However, it would be too early to expect similar results from him at the highest stage, especially with him having played only 21 first-class and 25 List-A games thus far.