Pant hails India's fighting spirit after rain plays spoilsport

India reached 28 for two in 3.3 overs after being put into bat when a second rain interruption forced players off the field at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium



Rishabh Pant and Keshav Maharaj with the trophy. (BCCI)
Rishabh Pant and Keshav Maharaj with the trophy. (BCCI)

By AFP

Published: Mon 20 Jun 2022, 12:14 AM

India’s stand-in captain Rishabh Pant said the youthful team gained a lot by playing against the full-strength South African side after the fifth and deciding Twenty20 international in Bangalore was abandoned due to rain on Sunday with the series ending level at 2-2.

India reached 28 for two in 3.3 overs after being put into bat when a second rain interruption forced players off the field at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium.

Umpires called off the match after rain refused to go away for over 90 minutes and players exchanged hand shakes.

Play started 50 minutes late, after 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 Ishan Kishan for 15, and then got his opening partner Ruturaj Gaikwad caught at mid-on for 10.

Shreyas Iyer, on nought, and skipper Pant, on one, were batting when play stopped for the final time.

The Proteas won the opening two matches before the hosts bounced back to win the next two games with big margins.

‘A lot of positives’

Pant hailed the team’s fighting spirit against the Proteas.

“It might get a little bit frustrating, but there are a lot of positives, especially the way the whole team showed character after the series was 2-0,” the wicketkeeper-batsman said.

“We are trying to find different ways of winning matches, we are trying to play in a new way. Mistakes will happen, but we are going in the right way,” added Pant who lost the toss in all five games in the series.

“I think this is the first time I’ve lost this many tosses at the same time, but it’s not in my control, so I’m not thinking about it too much. From a team point of view it’s now about winning the last Test match in England (next month), and from a personal point of view I would like to contribute more to make my team win.”

Bhuvneshwar Kumar was named the Player of the Series for his six wickets in the series — the swing bowler was second on the highest wicket-takers’ list behind Harshal Patel, who took seven wickets.

“When you get Man of the Series, it’s always a proud moment, and as a bowler in T20, it’s even better. I’m always focused on getting back stronger, whether it’s my bowling or my fitness,” said Kumar who seemed to have hit peak form after struggling with chronic fitness issues.

“I’m playing for years now, my role has always been the same. Bowl two in the powerplay, bowl two at the end. These things are always the same, but as a senior I always think about helping the youngsters. I’ve been lucky that the captain has given me the full hand and said do what you want. In that regard I’ve been blessed.”

Hardik Pandya will now lead the Indian team in Ireland where they will play the home team in a two-match T20 series (June 26 and June 28).

Meanwhile, the Rohit Sharma-led red-ball team will face England in the rescheduled fifth Test at Edgbaston in Birmingham (July 1-5).

India were leading the five-Test series against hosts England 2-1 last year when the fifth Test was suspended due to Covid-19 cases in the Indian camp.

India will be determined to secure at least a draw to record a rare Test series win in England.

said the youthful team gained a lot by playing against the full-strength South African side after the fifth and deciding Twenty20 international in Bangalore was abandoned due to rain on Sunday with the series ending level at 2-2.

India reached 28 for two in 3.3 overs after being put into bat when a second rain interruption forced players off the field at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium.

Umpires called off the match after rain refused to go away for over 90 minutes and players exchanged hand shakes.

Play started 50 minutes late, after 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 Ishan Kishan for 15, and then got his opening partner Ruturaj Gaikwad caught at mid-on for 10.

Shreyas Iyer, on nought, and skipper Pant, on one, were batting when play stopped for the final time.

The Proteas won the opening two matches before the hosts bounced back to win the next two games with big margins.


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