Ind vs SA 2022 5th T20I – Rahul Dravid

India’s head coach Rahul Dravid has backed Rishabh Pant and says he will remain “an integral part” of the squad despite the wicketkeeper batter only 58 runs with a stroke rate of 105.45 in the five T20Is against South Africa.
In this series, Pant had scored 340 runs at an average of 30.90 in IPL 2022. His tournament success rate was 151.78, significantly higher than in the last two editions – 113.95 in 2020 and 128.52 in 2021 Dravid said the team expects him to play a similar offensive role at international level as well.

“When you ask people to play a slightly more attacking type of cricket in the center overs and take up the game a little more, sometimes it’s hard to judge based on two or three games,” Dravid said after the crops … from fifth T20I in Bengaluru.

“I thought he had a pretty good IPL. He might not look good on the averages, but his pass rate was really good. He tried to raise that a little bit – to where he was probably three years ago. We’re going hope we can get those kinds of numbers from him at international level as well, which might cause him to go wrong in a few games.

“But he remains an integral part of our batting lineup. We know what he’s doing with the power he has. The fact that he’s a left-hander is also very important for us in the center overs. And he’s played some good ones. “Of course, personally he would have liked to score a few more points, but that’s not too worrying. For us, he is certainly a very big part of our plans going forward in the coming months.”

Dinesh Karthik, meanwhile, continues to impress in the niche role as a strictly final five-over batter. In the fourth T20I at Rajkot, Karthik had busted a 27-ball 55, the kind of knock that, said Dravid, “definitely gets you started”. Karthik and Hardik Pandya, who hit 46 from 31 deliveries, had added 65 from 33 balls to bring India to 169, which turned out to be a winning total.

“He was picked for a very specific skill,” Dravid said of Karthik. “And it’s nice if that in some way indicates that it came together brilliantly for us in the Rajkot game, where we needed that big performance in the last five overs to be able to make a par score. Him and Hardik [Pandya] beat us beautifully; both are ultimately our enforcers, guys who can take advantage of those last five-six overs.

“They are probably two of the best in the world in those last five-six overs. So yeah, it was really nice to see Karthik leave and do what he was picked. It certainly opens up a lot more options for us going forward. Innings like that you definitely start. Like I told the guys it’s not about knocking on the door – you have to start by knocking on the door, and innings like that definitely means he’s knocking really hard.”

“Shreyas, in the beginning [of the series] on tricky wickets, showed intent and played positively. Ruturaj showed in one particular innings [in the third T20I] what quality and skill he has.”

India coach Rahul Dravid

Since Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul and Virat Kohli were not part of the series, there was an opportunity for fringe players to present their cases. Ishan Kishan scored 206 runs – by far most in the series – with a stroke rate of 150.36, but Ruturaj Gaikwad and Shreyas Iyer failed to impress. Gaikwad scored just 96 runs in five innings with a strike rate of 131.50 and Iyer 94 runs at 123.68. But Dravid is not disappointed in them.

“We’re not going to make any hasty reactions,” he said. “As you’ve seen, I don’t like judging people after one series or one game. Every single one of the guys who got the chance here really deserved the chance; they deserved it. And in this format of the game you can you we will have some good games and some bad games.

“I think Shreyas, in the beginning… [of the series] on some tricky wickets, showed a lot of intention and played really positive for us. Ruturaj showed in one particular innings [in the third T20I] what quality and skill he has.

“In Twenty20 you can play a game every now and then [where] your form and performance will go up and down a bit. So we are not very disappointed with anyone. As a group we wanted to play a slightly more positive and attacking type of cricket from the start. And we knew you when you tried to do that, it won’t always work. But what we know for sure about the type of cricket we want to play.”

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