Rishabh Pant has been named Team India captain for the upcoming T20I series against South Africa but the flamboyant wicketkeeper batter admitted it didn’t arrive under very good circumstances. KL Rahul, who was appointed the captain in absence of Rohit Sharma, was ruled out of the series on Wednesday after sustaining a groin injury which opened the doors for Pant to lead the Indian team for the first time.
Pant has a decent experience of captaincy with his Delhi Capitals stint whom he led in the last couple of seasons.
The young wicketkeeper thanked the Board of Control for Cricket in India for giving him the massive opportunity as he vowed to make the most out of it against the Proteas.
“It is a very good feeling, did not come under very good circumstances but at the same time I am feeling happy. I would like to thank the BCCI for giving me this opportunity to lead the Indian side. I will try to make most out of it. Thank you to all my well-wishers for supporting me in my journey through my thick and thin of my cricketing career. I will look to make it a base and keep improving and keep making my life better and better each and every day,” said Pant during a press conference.
The five-match T20I series will commence from June 9 at Arun Jaitley Stadium, New Delhi.
Pant said that his experience of leading the Delhi Capitals is going to help him in taking the charge of the Indian team.
“It is a great feeling, especially getting an opportunity to lead in your home town. I will try to make most of it. I think as a captain, it will help me a lot (leading in the IPL) because when you are doing the same thing again and again, you improve. I am someone who keeps learning from his mistakes and I think it will help me in the coming days,” he added.
Talking about the change in the batting order after Rahul’s injury, Pant said there won’t be many as the Indian squad is well equipped with opening options.
“I think there would not be much change in the batting order as KL would have opened. We do not have many openers, we will discuss about it after sometime.”
“I think as a team we have thought about certain goals we want to achieve as a team. At the end, we have the World Cup at the back of our head and we are preparing for that. In the coming days, you will see there will be changes and how we play cricket I guess,” he added.
Pant further talked about working with head coach Rahul Dravid who was also his coach during the Under-19 days. The wicketkeeper said that he is looking forward to learning from the legendary cricketer.
“It is one of the best things to have him around. I worked with him in the U-19 days and then I worked him in the Indian team. There is a lot of experience also, he is already a legendary cricketer. There are a lot of learnings from him, there is just a lot to learn from him,” he said.