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I am not thinking about India squad, focus on IPL as of now: Pant

New Delhi: Rishabh Pant’s individual brilliance has not gone unnoticed in Delhi Daredevils’ stuttering campaign in the ongoing IPL but the young wicket-keeper batsman says he doesn’t want to think about a potential India call-up based on this performance.

Pant has been Daredevils’ batting mainstay this season with three half-centuries and two near-fifty contributions. In Wednesday’s match against Rajasthan Royals, the left-hander smashed a 69 off just 29 balls to steer the side to a huge total and an eventual win, which has kept it alive in the tournament.

Asked if this consistent show will help him secure an India jersey, Pant said, “I am not thinking about that. I am just playing IPL right now, just trying it do well in every game for the side.” Pant said his side has succeeded in curtailing the mistakes and that has been the key to its revival. They have now jumped from eight to sixth in the points table and remain in Play-offs race.

“Everything is fine from our side. There are small things, we are making mistakes in every match that did not happen this time and we won the match.” Asked how the side is turning it around, the 20-year-old said, “We were batting brilliant in all the games but small mistakes (happened) on our part, that was not going our way, we are making sure it does not happen.”

Pant comes at number four and before him young opener Prithvi Shaw and new captain Shreyas Iyer are also batting well. They are providing a good platform for Pant to go for his strokes. “Everyone is different, they are playing at the top order, they have to maintain the run rate and they are doing a pretty good job and after that I am doing a good job for my team. Our team combination is also helping.”

Talking about Shaw’s impressive batting, Pant said, “He was a brilliant kid from day one but he was not getting his chance. When he got the chance, he capitalised on those.” Pant said bowling was “not a concern” for his side even though they have taken a beating. Defending 150 from 12 overs last night, the side just about managed to survive.
“The wickets are pretty good for batting. That’s part and parcel of the game.” Meanwhile, Royals Australian opener D’Arcy Short admitted that they are now under pressure to pull off win in every match.

“It’s a tough loss for us. Chasing 150 from 12 overs was tough. We have to win each game now. Each game will be like an elimination game now. We (he and Buttler) had to go hard and had some 90 runs from seven-eight, we tried to do it,” he said.

Asked if rain and a revised target made the job tough for them, Short said, “Tough to say, there was rain halfway through the game and before the game, don’t think it impacted too much. We need to have clear plans and stick to our plans and know what to do and kind of back ourselves.”