He top-scored for India and struck on the match-winning six, prompting his captain Virat Kohli to say”we’re considering Rishabh Pant as the future”.
Kohli said all the youngster needed after two poor outings about the bounce was just one innings to settle in and show the world what he can do. The message was for him to finish the match – there is a great deal of confidence that includes hitting the winning runs and walking off the area with bat raised, and Pant had to experience that, Kohli said.
“For the first two games, he was disappointed that he didn’t get any runs,” Kohli said. “He was playing really well, hitting the ball quite well, but that’s how T20 cricket goes. Sometimes you do not have the rub of the green. But now he made sure he exerted himself and batted to his skills and backed himself to hit the big shots when required and played with the tempo of the innings.
“He’s got a lot of talent and skill. [But] it’s about winning and completing games such as these and gaining confidence, which he wishes to do as well. It’s about giving him a bit more space to ease himself into international cricket and not putting too much pressure because of the way he has played at the IPL.
“At the international level, you need to tackle pressure otherwise and play yourself in the entire set-up. He’s come a long way since he started. If he plays this more regularly, we will see his prospective glow for India.”
With the focus now shifting to the ODI series, beginning on August 8 at the same venue – Providence Stadium – Kohli said he was thankful the team got a complete match despite the early rain, and got the opportunity to really have a proper strike. All the while, with an eye on the larger picture: the priority is to make certain India play consistent cricket, together with young players like Pant and Rahul Chahar – the debutant legspinner – helping strengthen the team’s resources.
“I think that the priority is to maintain Indian cricket at the very top, go out there and win games and figure out ways to win games for your group,” Kohli said. “That is why we have been one of the top teams in the world for a while now.”
The players are going to take the afternoon off on Wednesday to rest and recuperate in front of their 50-over games, Kohli said, as the humidity and the temperatures would be difficult to deal with over a complete day.
When the ODI action begins, the groups would be aware that the weather – that the prediction isn’t ideal for cricket – might not deny them 100 overs of activity, based on the evidence on Tuesday. The drainage at Providence is exceptional: a downpour before in the morning had led in a one-hour delay to the beginning, and at one point it was coming down so hard that there were worries over whether a single ball would be bowled. However, as Kohli said, one could hardly tell it had rained up to it had.