Home Cricket Sourav Ganguly on Rishabh Pant Playing in T20 World Cup: ‘I’ll Be Able to Answer That Question…’

Sourav Ganguly on Rishabh Pant Playing in T20 World Cup: ‘I’ll Be Able to Answer That Question…’

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Delhi Capitals captain Rishabh Pant (IANS)

Sourav Ganguly said Rishabh Pant is ‘fully fit’ but should be given some more time to prepare himself for Team India team selection.

Sourav Ganguly, former India skipper and Delhi Capitals’ Director of Cricket, had his say when asked about Rishabh Pant’s chances for playing in the upcoming T20 World Cup in the West Indies and USA.

Sourav Ganguly said Pant is “fully fit” but should be given some more time to prepare himself for India team selection. Pant, the Delhi Capitals skipper seems to be hitting his strides in the ongoing IPL with consecutive half-centuries after returning to professional cricket following a harrowing car crash in December 2022.

Asked if he thinks Pant is ready for selection in the India squad, Ganguly said after a team training session that: “Let a few more matches go. He is doing very well. As you all must have seen, you know, (wicket) keeping, batting. He has held up well.”

“His form has been fantastic, especially the way he has batted in the last two games. Let another week go, and I’ll be able to answer that question… provided the selectors want to pick him — that’s most important. He’s fit, fully fit,” Ganguly added.

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Pant is currently the fourth-highest run-getter in IPL 2024, having scored 152 runs in four matches at a strike rate of nearly 160. DC will take on the embattled five-time IPL champions Mumbai Indians at the Wankhede Stadium on Sunday.

Ganguly added that he was satisfied with the bowling department but the team, which has lost three of its four matches so far this season, could do with an extra batter. “We have used the bowling part of it well in terms of Mukesh (Kumar), who’s developed under Delhi Capitals, Khaleel (Ahmed) and Ishant (Sharma).

“Prithvi Shaw… he’s come back into good form this season. Obviously, Rishabh is a domestic Indian talent. Abhishek Porel has started out well this season. We need to find one more batsman who can do it. The legendary cricketer added that the likes of young players such as Ricky Bhui, and Kumar Kushagra could get opportunities to play as the tournament progresses.

Young Jharkhand batter Kushagra was bought by DC for a mindboggling Rs 7.2 crore in the IPL auction but is yet to play an IPL match this season. “It’s about opportunities at this level. Hopefully with the young players like (Ricky) Bhui, (Kumar) Kushagra, we can give them opportunities and see how it goes. It’s also on the balance of the side, whether you want to go the bowling way or the batting way,” said Ganguly.

“Of course, he (Kushagra) will play. We’re looking for an opportunity for him to play. We saw (Sameer) Rizvi play for Chennai, he also got a very high price tag.” The stylish former batter felt that Indian talent will flourish in the IPL as it is getting lots of opportunities. “There’s a lot of Indian talent who’s doing well in IPL. (We) saw (Riyan) Parag do well for Rajasthan so far. Then there is Punjab (Kings’) Shashank Singh, he did well in the last game. Prabhsimran is also doing well for Punjab,” he said.

“There are a lot of young talents around in the IPL and that’s the way it has been over a period of time. It’s a platform for young talent to come and play well. And, the more opportunities they are given, they will play well as the tournament progresses.” Ganguly does not want to read too much into Mumbai Indians’ dismal performance so far. The five-time champions have lost all three games so far this season. “Mumbai is a good side. We are a good team as well. We won one game against Chennai. We expect Mumbai to play well because they’ve been a great franchise over a long period of time. They have some quality players in the squad,” he said.

“But T20 is such a format that sometimes you get into this situation where you lose a couple of games (or) three games and then you have to find a way to get back,” Ganguly added.

Kuldeep Yadav to undergo fitness test

Ganguly said chinaman bowler Kuldeep Yadav will undergo a fitness test to determine his availability for the match against MI. “He’ll undergo a fitness test today. He has a little bit of groin stiffness (and) that’s why he missed the last two games. of the day, we’ll get to know whether he’s available tomorrow or not, Ganguly said.

Ganguly added that DC will also have to look for a replacement for Mitchell Marsh, who got injured while playing against Sunrisers Hyderabad.

(With inputs from Agencies)

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