Lot of positives, says India skipper Rishabh Pant after T20 series vs SA ends 2-2
India skipper Rishabh Pant and his South Africa counterpart Keshav Maharaj share the trophy after the 5th and final T20 cricket match between the two teams was washed out due to rain, at M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru on Sunday, June 19, 2022.The series was shared 2-2. (ANI Photo)
SKIPPER Rishabh Pant on Sunday (19) said India’s different approach to win matches has paid off after their Twenty20 series against South Africa ended 2-2 with the final game being washed out.
The hosts bounced back from 2-0 down to level the series with convincing victories in the absence of top stars including regular captain Rohit Sharma and batting stalwart Virat Kohli.
Rain played spoilsport in the series decider in Bangalore when persistent showers forced umpires to call off the match with just 3.3 overs bowled and India on 28-3 after being put into bat first.
“It might get a little bit frustrating (with the no result), but there are a lot of positives, especially the way the whole team showed character after the series was 2-0 (in favour of South Africa),” said Pant.
“We are just finding different ways to win the matches, we are trying to play different kind of cricket which we never used to play. There will be mistakes but as along we learn from our mistakes and keep improving it will be fine.”
India won the third match by 48 runs and then hammered the hosts by 82 runs for their second successive win on Friday.
Pace bowler Bhuvenshwar Kumar was named player of the series for his six wickets. Indian opener Ishan Kishan topped the batting chart with 206 runs.
Pant, who was made national captain for the first time ahead of the series when KL Rahul pulled out injured, had an ordinary outing with scores of 29, 5, 6 and 17.
“It is for you guys to decide on how I am doing as a player and captain,” the wicketkeeper-batsman said on his first series as Indian leader.
“I can only focus on giving my 100 per cent every time I go on the field and keep improving.”
India now head to Ireland for two T20 matches while a few players including Pant head straight to England for a rescheduled fifth Test starting July 1 in Birmingham.
In the final T20, play started 50 minutes late, when rain forced the teams to head off the field just before the first ball was bowled.
South African quick Lungi Ngidi bowled the left-handed Kishan for 15, and then got his opening partner Ruturaj Gaikwad caught at mid-on for 10.
Shreyas Iyer, on nought, and skipper Rishabh Pant, on one, were batting when play stopped for second the final time.
Earlier, South Africa skipper Temba Bavuma was ruled out of the line-up due to an elbow injury he suffered in the team’s previous loss. Keshav Maharaj stood in as captain.
“We’re a work in progress, and we’re trying different combinations to see how we shape up ahead of the (T20) World Cup,” said Maharaj.