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Delhi Daredevils wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant admitted that he wasn’t “demoralised” when made the standby list for the ICC Champions Trophy 2017 and said he was hoping to perform well after he was got his maiden ODI call-up for the series against West Indies that begins on June 23.
In an exclusive conversation with ANI, the 19-year-old keeper said: "I am very happy that I am selected for West Indies tour. My target is to perform well nothing else. When I was in standby list for Champions Trophy I was not demoralised at all. Because I knew I will get a chance to play for India. I will learn from my seniors and will focus on my game. Right now I am practicing hard and giving my hundred percent to my game. Hope I will perform well in the tour.”
In case you didn’t know...
During the Champions Trophy semi-final against Bangladesh, the selectors announced the 15-member Indian squad that will travel to West Indies and play five ODIs and a solitary T20I soon after the conclusion of the final against Pakistan. While Rohit Sharma and Jasprit Bumrah was rested, Rishabh Pant and Kuldeep Yadav, earned their maiden call-ups to the ODI side.
Squad: Virat Kohli (captain), Shikhar Dhawan, Rishabh Pant, Ajinkya Rahane, MS Dhoni (wk), Yuvraj Singh, Kedar Jadhav, Hardik Pandya, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Mohammad Shami, Umesh Yadav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Kuldeep Yadav, Dinesh Karthik
Impressive performances in IPL 2017, where he scored over 350 runs for Delhi Daredevils at a strike rate in excess of 160 and a stellar domestic season saw the 19-year-old Pant secure his maiden ODI call-up. He is one of three regular wicketkeepers in the squad and admitted that he was boosted by the fact that he was on the standbys for the Champions Trophy and the fact that he was told by the management that he was in the scheme of things.
After beating Bangladesh in the semi-final, India will take on arch-rivals Pakistan in ICC Champions Trophy 2017 final at The Oval on Sunday (June 18). Less than a week after the conclusion of the tournament, India will take on West Indies in the first of five ODIs at Port of Spain.
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Although he didn’t make it to the Champions Trophy squad, it is a great move by the selectors to keep in the scheme of things for the limited-overs series against West Indies. While he is unlikely to displace MS Dhoni as the first-choice wicketkeeper anytime soon, it will be a great learning curve for the 19-year-old to be along with Dhoni and several other stars.