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World Cup selection played on my mind: Rishabh Pant after destroying RR

India Today logo India Today 23-04-2019
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Rishabh Pant hit an unbeaten 78 off 36 balls as Delhi Capitals crushed Rajasthan Royals by 6 wickets to top the points table in the 2019 Indian Premier League. Pant had smashed an unbeaten 78 off 27 balls against Mumbai Indians on March 24 but had since seen a dip in form.

To make matters worse for Rishabh Pant, he was omitted from India's World Cup squad after he failed to grab his chances. In between those two 78 not outs, Pant was often criticised for his shot-selection. With scores of 25, 11, 39, 5, 18, 46, 23, 7 and 6, he was not doing what was expected of him.

Full coverage: IPL 2019

Rishabh Pant finally found his mojo a week after India announced their 15-man World Cup squad. Up against the Royals, Pant walked out to bat at a critical juncture in a crucial chase of 192.

With Prithvi Shaw, Pant added 84 for the 3rd wicket and his innings was studded with 6 fours and 4 sixes. Delhi Capitals Ricky Ponting said India had made a mistake by not taking Pant to the World Cup.

Rishabh Pant admitted he was thinking of the World Cup selection even as DC continued their march to the top of the table.

"Feels really good to make your team win a crucial match," Pant told the broadcaster after winning the man-of-the-match.

"I won't lie that the thought wasn't running through my mind, but I just focus on my process and that's all I was thinking of," he said.

Delhi Capitals also benefitted from Shikhar Dhawan's rapid fifty at the top. Obviously, skipper Shreyas Iyer was a happy man and said he was thrilled with the way the batting group was beginning to click.

"We are happy with our team is going. The positivity is spreading in the camp. Ricky tells us that batsman who get start should bat for a long time.

"Rishabh took that initiave and batted till the end. In the previous match, I was there till the end and Shikhar did it too in one match," Iyer said after DC won.

Also watch: 'Rahane looked a lot freer vs Delhi'

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(Video by ESPNcricinfo)

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