“I Am Absolutely Not Bothered At All” – Rahul Dravid On Rishabh Pant’s Poor Innings vs Zimbabwe In T20 World Cup 2022

India National Cricket Team head coach Rahul Dravid has stated that he is “not bothered at all” about the poor innings of the young wicketkeeper-batter Rishabh Pant against Zimbabwe in the final Super 12 game of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2022 at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Sunday, November 6.

India made one change to the playing XI in the match against Zimbabwe as they included Rishabh Pant in the team as a replacement for the veteran wicketkeeper-batter Dinesh Karthik.

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Dinesh Karthik and Rishabh Pant (Image Credits: BCCI)

At the post-match press conference, Dravid was asked about the team management’s decision to pick Pant over Karthik in the playing XI. He responded that they never lost confidence in Pant and he even mentioned that they have “got confidence in all 15 players in the squad”. He asserted:

“Yeah, I mean, it’s not that we ever lost confidence in Rishabh. We have got confidence in all of our 15 players in the squad. It’s only 11 guys who can play. It depends on the combination that you have to play. The very fact that they are here and part of the World Cup means that we have a lot of confidence in them. It means that any time we can call them to play.

“When you pick 15 from so many other options, that means you have got a lot of confidence in this 15. Yes, some people, sometimes, miss out.”

Dravid backed Pant, who scored only 3 runs off 5 balls before being cleaned up by Sean Williams, saying that the youngster played the right shot. He said:

“He has been traveling with us. He has been batting a lot in the nets, doing a lot of keeping practice and keeping himself ready. It didn’t kind of work out today after we gave him an opportunity. I am absolutely not bothered at all. I think he took the right option. His role was to take on the left-arm spinner which was there, sometimes, it comes off and sometimes it doesn’t.”

Sometime, whether we play a player or not is not based on one game – Rahul Dravid

Rahul Dravid PC- BCCI
Rahul Dravid PC- BCCI

Dravid revealed that they don’t judge players on the basis of their performance in one game and the playing XI selection is determined by multiple factors. He said:

“Sometime, whether we play a player or not is not based on one game. It’s based on match-ups and what are the skills we need here or going ahead. A lot of things go into these kinds of decisions.”

“(Among) a couple of the things we did want to achieve was to try and bat first. We bowled first against Pakistan when we came here. We just wanted to experience what it was to set a score in these kind of conditions. Also, we felt that if we batted first, it would give us an opportunity to play 20 overs and get into that ability of trying to get a par or par-plus score.

“It gave us an opportunity to play Rishabh, keeping this game in mind as well, but also just keeping the future in mind, just opening up our options. I think everyone is available for selection. Just because somebody missed out in this team, it doesn’t mean that we can’t go back to him,” Dravid added.

Yuzvendra Chahal India
Yuzvendra Chahal. Image Credits: BCCI

India are set to lock horns with England in semi-final 2 on November 10 at the Adelaide Oval and the surface at the venue offers assistance to slow bowlers. India head coach Rahul Dravid was asked if leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal stands a chance of playing in the semi-final. He said:

“We have a completely open mind about everyone in our 15. Anyone who comes in from the 15 will not potentially make us weaker because of the kind of squad that we have picked. We’ll have to go and see.

“I watched some of the games and I know the tracks are slow; they gripped and turned a bit. We might be playing on a completely different strip in Adelaide. I can’t sit here and predict,” Dravid concluded.

Also Read: IND vs ENG: Rishabh Pant Should Be Preferred Over Dinesh Karthik In T20 World Cup 2022 Semi-final, Feel Robin Uthappa, Tom Moody


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