Ajinkya Rahane and Rishabh Pant, two of biggest World Cup omissions from the Indian squad, made a strong statement with brilliant knocks on Tuesday. While Ajinkya Rahane slammed a supreme 100 for Rajasthan Rajasthan , Pant outshone home by blasting 78 from 36 for Delhi to lead the team to victory.
At the post-match ceremony, after his match-winning knock, Pant was candid enough to admit the World Cup exclusion was playing on his mind. "I am feeling lovely. To make your team win in an important match is a good feeling. I won't lie, the selection thought was running in my mind."
The youngster added about his innings, "I focussed on my process and it worked for me. The wicket was playing good, and I just took advantage of that, I guess. Most important thing for our team is that everyone knows our role, and the support staff tells us, 'this is your role, and this is what is going to happen to you'."
While it was widely believed Pant would make the World Cup squad, Dinesh Karthik got the go-ahead owing to his experience and superior keeping skills.
Meanwhile, Delhi skipper Shreyas Iyer was happy with both the pitch on offer as well as his team's performance. "When we play away from home, the wickets are so good. We enjoy playing on the rise, and the wickets are perfectly made for them," Iyer said.
"It was important to get a good start in the Powerplay, and Shikhar has been doing that well. The way we've been playing away games and coming back to our home games, we are unaware of how our pitch plays itself."
At one stage, it seemed Rajasthan would cross 200, but Delhi pulled them back and kept them to 191 before chasing the total down in the last over.
--By A Cricket Correspondent