Mumbai: Rahul Tripathi’s red-hot form in the Indian Premier League has convinced former India coach Ravi Shastri that the Sunrisers Hyderabad top order batsman is good enough to play international cricket.
Tripathi smashed his third fifty of the season on Tuesday to secure his team’s narrow victory against Mumbai Indians that also kept alive their hopes of making the play-offs.
The 31-year-old is eighth in the leading scorers’ list, though his 161-plus strike rate is higher than the seven ahead of him.
“He’s not far at all,” Shastri told a cricket website of Tripathi’s India prospects. “If someone doesn’t get up from the bench or gets up from the wrong side of the bed and gets injured, this guy can be slotted in straightaway.
“He can go at number three or four, he’s a dangerous player, and should be in the mix.” Tripathi has been the most prolific number three batsman this season and impressed again with his 76 off 44 balls on Tuesday.
“He’s been around for a bit and what I like about his game is his fearlessness, and he’s got a tag of being a known quantity and someone the opposition wants to get out quickly,” Shastri said.
Hyderabad captain Kane Williamson is also sure of Tripathi’s potential.
“He’s a seriously special player and he comes out and takes that momentum away and that’s his attitude every time he bats,” Williamson said.
“We’ve seen that on a number of occasions throughout this competition. He’s certainly destined for big things, I reckon.” Tripathi himself is not in a hurry to realise his India dreams.
“When you play cricket, it’s obviously your dream to represent the country,” the right-hander said.
“If I keep doing well and they believe that I can win matches for my country, then definitely I will get the opportunity.”
Skipper Kane to leave
Meanwhile, Sunrisers captain Kane Williamson will miss the remainder of the Indian Premier League season to return to New Zealand for the birth of his child, the IPL team said on Wednesday.
“Our skipper Kane Williamson is flying back to New Zealand, to usher in the latest addition to his family,” Hyderabad said on Twitter.
“Here’s everyone at the Riser camp wishing Kane Williamson and his wife a safe delivery and a lot of happiness.” Williamson has endured a tough time with the bat in the IPL and vacated the opener’s slot to bat at number six in Tuesday’s victory against Mumbai Indians.