Rishabh Pant, Rahul Dravid
Rishabh Pant, Rahul Dravid. (Photo: Twitter)

Team India head coach Rahul Dravid said that the budding prospects in the Indian team will have to pick up their socks and start making big contributions to earn a slot in the T20 World Cup later this year.

In the absence of regular first-team members, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, and Jasprit Bumrah, a few youngsters made a mark against South Africa but none big enough to secure a place in the playing XI.

I was telling the guys that they have to bang the door down. It is not about knocking on the door, they have to start banging the door down. We are going to start looking to finalise that squad as quickly as possible. Whether that will happen in the next series or the series after that is hard to tell, but we are certainly looking to do that as quickly as possible.”

India National Cricket Team
India National Cricket Team. Image Credits: Twitter

As you come closer to events you want to be able to finalise your final squad as quickly as possible. We can only take 15 to the World Cup, but you want to have your top 18 or 20 players (chosen)… and that you are clear on that and what type of squad you want to take to the World Cup,” Dravid said after the series against South Africa.

“He and Hardik batted beautifully for us” – Rahul Dravid

Dravid was also full of praise for middle-order batters, Hardik Pandya and Dinesh Karthik, who saved India in the 4th T20I. They put together 65 runs in 33 balls for the 5th wicket on a spicy Rajkot pitch.

He (Karthik) is picked for a very specific skill and he was picked for that based on what he has been doing particularly well over the last two or three years. It almost came together perfectly for us in that game at Rajkot when we needed that big performance in the last five overs to be able to make a par score.

Dinesh Karthik and Hardik Pandya. PC-BCCI
Dinesh Karthik and Hardik Pandya. PC-BCCI

He and Hardik (Pandya) batted beautifully for us and both of them are our enforcers at the end and guys that can capitalise on the last five or six overs as well as anyone in the world. It was really nice to see Karthik come off and do what he has been picked to do and it certainly opens up a lot more options for us going forward. Innings like that means he is certainly knocking very hard,” Dravid added.

The series between South Africa and India ended 2-2 after the 5th T20I in Bengaluru was washed out on Sunday and the teams shared the trophy.

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