Wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant played a match-winning knock of 65 runs off 42 balls to help India pick up a victory in the third T20I against West Indies. The Men in Blue wrapped up the T20 series with a 3-0 whitewash over the Men in Maroon and now look to march on towards their next target- the ODI series.
The young swashbuckling left-hander's knock featured four boundaries and sixes each as he built a crucial 50-run plus partnership with skipper Virat Kohli. En route to his magnificent knock, Pant surpassed his predecessor's long-held record of the highest runs scored by a wicketkeeper in a game. The record was previously held by former skipper MS Dhoni who had scored 56 runs against England in Bengaluru in 2017.
After facing severe flak for not getting off the mark in the first two games, Pant steamrolled through the Windies' bowling in order to guide India to victory with five balls to spare.
"We are looking at him (Pant) as the future. He has got a lot of skill and lot of talent. It is about giving him some space and not putting too much of pressure," the skipper made his intentions clear.
He has been around for a couple of years now and Kohli feels that he will soon start finishing games more consistently.
"He's come a long way since he's started. It's about winning and finishing games like these. In international cricket, you need to tackle pressure differently. If he plays like this regularly, we will see his potential shine for India," Kohli said.
A 3-0 whitewash is certainly satisfactory and the skipper would like to carry on the momentum into the ODI series.
"It was a clinical performance. We wanted to try out players but priority was to win games. Deepak was great, Bhuvi professional as always. The wicket over here was much better than the one in Miami. West Indies got to a decent total because of the wicket, but we were professional with both ball and bat," the skipper added.
The skipper dubbed the Windies ODI side as a stronger outfit and would want his side to maintain the consistency.
"We want to be as professional as possible in the ODIs and Tests. We want results, to win games of cricket. The Windies ODI team is even stronger, so it will be hard work, but we will try to have fun as a team for a month."