On the eve of the final ODI of the three-match series between India and West Indies, wicket-keeper batsman Rishabh Pant stressed the importance of playing positive brand of cricket. “Obviously as an individual, I would like to have a big score behind my back. Every time I go in, I am not focussing on that. I just want to play positive cricket and I want to win matches for the team. Every match is crucial for me, I want to keep on improving as a cricketer,” Pant said during the pre-match conference in Trinidad.
Pant had a bad start to the Windies tour as he was dismissed for 0 and 4 in the first two T20Is of the three-match series. He was later successful in turning around his fortunes as he played a match-winning knock of 65 runs in the third T20I. In the second ODI, the left-hander managed to score just 20 runs.
Pant said that every member of the team is calm and is just focussing on winning the final ODI of the series. “Everyone is calm right now. We are just focussing on the match. We need to win the final ODI, and finish the series on a high,” Pant said.
In the second ODI of the three-match series, Windies were in a good position at 179/4 during their chase of 270 in 46 overs. However, Bhuvneshwar Kumar dismissed Nicholas Pooran and Roston Chase in quick succession to enable India to gain a comprehensive 59-run win.
“There was a situation in the previous ODI when West Indies had an upper hand. We knew if we kept it tight, we will come out as triumphant,” Pant said.
New Zealand had ended India’s campaign at the World Cup as they defeated the Men in Blue by 18 runs in the semi-final. Pant said that the side felt bad when the result happened, but he added that the team knew they had to come back stronger.
“Actually we all felt very bad at that time, but as a professional, we knew that we just had bad 45 minutes in the semi-final which cost us badly. We knew we had to come back stronger, we need to learn and keep on improving ourselves,” Pant said.
The 21-year-old Pant said that the team management is just trying to give every member of the squad a chance to play in the final XI. He also opined that the Trinidad wicket is on the slower side so the batsmen need to take their time.
“We are not experimenting, we are just giving chances to everyone. Hopefully, everyone is getting the chance, the team management is supporting all the members of the side,” Pant said.
“The wicket is on a slower side, it is not flat. you need to give yourselves time when you go in and then you can start looking for big shots,” he added.
India currently holds a 1-0 lead in the three-match series against West Indies. The first ODI was abandoned due to rain whereas, in the second ODI, the Men in Blue came out triumphant.
Both teams lock horns in the final ODI later today.