Rishabh Pant to Start Against England in 1st Test: Virat Kohli

Pant’s fantastic (89 not out) in Brisbane helped his team complete a 2-1 series win over Australia last month.

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Cricket
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Rishabh Pant has been preferred over Wriddhiman Saha for the first Test against England in Chennai. 
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Indian captain Virat Kohli confirmed on the eve of the first Test match against England that Rishabh Pant will play as the wicket-keeper batsman instead of Wriddhiman Saha in Chennai.

“Rishabh Pant will start (in the first Test). He is in good headspace and he has come along very nicely. He is working hard on all aspects of the game,” Kohli said at the pre-match press conference.

Pant’s fantastic (89 not out) in the last Test in Brisbane helped his team complete a 2-1 series win over Australia last month. In the Test before that at Sydney, he scored 97 in a knock that was eventually helped save the game.

“There is good reason what he did in Australia gives all of us hope going ahead.”

Pant grabbed the opportunity with both hands after Saha’s twin failures in India’s humiliating defeat in the first Test in Adelaide.

Giving an indication into the combination India might prefer in the upcoming matches against England, considered as one of the world’s most balanced sides, Kohli said, “The focus will be on bowlers who can also bat.”

Speaking about his deputy Ajinkya Rahane, who masterminded India’s memorable come-from-behind series triumph in Australia after the regular captain’s departure for the birth of his child, Kohli said both of them share a “great camaraderie”.

Incidentally, the last Test match held at Chepauk was also between India and England, played in 2016, when India won in the final session of the fifth day after England had scored 470 in their first innings.

(With PTI Inputs)

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