Rishabh Pant
Rishabh Pant

Delhi’s wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant, who joined the India squad as a replacement to the injured Shikhar Dhawan, was positive after being ignored for the ongoing ICC World Cup. He was one of the standbys but he wasn’t included in the 15-member India squad after performing well for the last couple of months. Selectors gave the preference to Dinesh Karthik for his experience. Even, the issue became a debate about whether he should be in the squad or not.

However, he has finally joined his teammates after India’s in-form opener Shikhar Dhawan got injured in his left thumb during the game against Australia where he smashed a match-winning hundred. At first, the team management were expecting that Dhawan would be fit but later he has been ruled out of the tournament and Pant came in the squad.

“When I didn’t get selected, I thought maybe I didn’t do something right, so I became more positive and focused on how to improve myself. Then I did well in IPL. Then I kept practising,” Pant said to India spinner Yuzvendra Chahal in a video which was posted by BCCI.

“It is one dream for all to make India win. When I came to know that I have been called to England as a back-up, my mother was with me. So I told her, she went to the temple and paid her offerings,” he shared.

Rishabh Pant. ©Indian Express

“As a cricketer, I always wanted to play a World Cup and perform there and now that I have got this opportunity, I am feeling very happy,” further added the youngster.

Virat Kohli-led India have so far won three games comfortably out of four, while the game against New Zealand being washed out without a ball being bowled. However, the side has been dealing with a couple of injuries. Apart from Dhawan, their key pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar has also been ruled out due to a hamstring injury.

On the other hand, Vijay Shankar also got hurt in their net sessions. However, Shankar is expected to be featured in the game against Afghanistan, Bhuvneswar needs time to recover. Mohammed Shami is expected to come in place of him. Though it will be an easy game Afghanistan, India likely to keep their winning momentum on.