Rishabh Pant had a great performance for the Indian team in Australia, his bat has remained calm in the current series against England. The current series between India and England is currently tied at 1-1. The fourth Test match of the series will be played from Thursday at The Oval, Chennai.
Three years ago, Rishabh Pant scored a brilliant century while counter-attacking The Oval. This was the threat of his coming to international cricket. India could not win that match, but as a wicket-keeper batsman, it was the beginning of a journey that will make a special place in the Indian team in the times to come.
On Thursday, the Indian team is once again at the Oval. This time the series is tied (India vs England Test Series). And if India has to move towards winning the series, then Pant will have to show his colors once again.
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In the 25, 37, 22, 2 and 1- series, Pant has scored the same number of runs so far. He is batting at number six. And for a team that is playing with only six batsmen, this score of Pant cannot be said enough. He batted exceptionally at this position in Australia. He played an important role in winning the series for India. In the home series against England too, he played a match-winning innings on the dusty pitch of Ahmedabad. But Pant is struggling in the seaming condition of England.
The swing of James Anderson and Ollie Robinson is bothering this 24-year-old batsman a lot. That’s why he decided to stand outside the crease to face the swing. This allowed him to play the ball a little quicker. In the year 2018, this strategy worked wonders for Virat Kohli in England. And that is probably why most of the Indian batsmen have started playing the ball on the front-foot and Pant is no exception. This put an end to the old theory of using the backfoot and playing the ball late in English conditions. However, it doesn’t matter much provided you are scoring runs.
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Former wicket-keeper batsman Dinesh Karthik told our associate newspaper Times of India, ‘Pant has scored most of his runs playing this way. He scored runs in the same style in Australia and you have to give him some time to shine. I don’t think you need to make any major changes in the middle of the series.
But the problem is the conditions in England and Australia are not the same. The ball doesn’t seam or swing a lot in Australia. And in such a situation it is not always dangerous to play with a hard hand in the line. In such a situation, hand-eye coordination remains very important for the batsmen.
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Another former Indian wicketkeeper-batsman Deep Dasgupta feels that Pant needs to strengthen the defense a bit, instead of changing his technique in the middle of the series. He said, ‘The important thing is that Pant’s way of thinking is not too confusing. If Pant plays well in an innings, he can win you a Test match, then you can take chances with him. But at the same time, Pant needs to be more careful about his shot-selection.
Deep Dasgupta feels that it is important for Pant to play the ball closer to the body. Dasgupta said, ‘Anderson and Robinson know how to use these situations. He keeps Pant under control while bowling over the wicket off-stump. If Pant manages to get over it in the beginning, then he can figure out his own way… go ahead and play or whatever.
Now both the teams will meet at the Oval. It is historically a ground where the ball does not move much. There is not much seam movement in the ball here which can be a good thing for Pant. He should definitely gain confidence from the last century he scored this ground. Karthik said, ‘Pant knows how to deal with these situations. He is a match-winner and I am sure he will do well. ‘