Right-handed batter Rahul Tripathi received his maiden national side call-up on Wednesday as he was named in the T20I squad for the upcoming two-match series against Ireland, beginning June 26. After having a good IPL for SunRisers Hyderabad, Tripathi had not found a spot in the squad for the series against South Africa, but he has now been named in the team for the Ireland series. A day after earning a call-up, Tripathi spoke to NDTV over the phone and talked about his emotions after being named in the squad.
“I am very happy and most importantly, it is a dream come true for me. Every cricketer, when he starts playing the game, aims to represent his country. Obviously, this is the biggest achievement of my life, to represent my country. Surely, more good things to come and hopefully, there will be days when I am able to win games for my country. This is a proud moment for me,” Tripathi told NDTV.
When asked whether he was a little disappointed on not being named in India’s squad for the ongoing South Africa series, the batter said: “To be honest, I thought that I will get this opportunity but now I am happy that I have been given the opportunity now. I knew if I keep performing, I’ll get the opportunity. I was not very disheartened. I knew if I keep performing, I’ll get the opportunity.”
In the 14 matches for SunRisers Hyderabad in IPL 2022, the 31-year-old scored 413 runs at an average of 37.55 with a strike rate of 158.24.
“I have always looked at the match that I am playing and the team I am representing, how I can make the team and how I can perform the best. I need to win the match for my country. It is a great opportunity for me. I want to enjoy this moment,” said the 31-year-old.
When asked about the time he spent with SRH batting mentor Brian Lara, Tripathi said: “I learnt a lot from him. It was a blessing for me, I had a great time. Definitely, all those chats and important tips really help in a game. Really enjoyed my time with him.”
On Wednesday, the All-India Senior Selection Committee had named the squad for the series against Ireland, and Hardik Pandya was chosen as the captain while Bhuvneshwar Kumar will serve as his deputy. Sanju Samson and Suryakumar Yadav have also returned to the squad while Dinesh Karthik has been chosen as a specialist wicketkeeper for this two-match series.
Team India squad for the Ireland series: Hardik Pandya (Captain), Bhuvneshwar Kumar (vice-captain), Ishan Kishan, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Sanju Samson, Suryakumar Yadav, Venkatesh Iyer, Deepak Hooda, Rahul Tripathi, Dinesh Karthik (wicket-keeper), Yuzvendra Chahal, Axar Patel, Ravi Bishnoi, Harshal Patel, Avesh Khan, Arshdeep Singh, Umran Malik
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