All eyes would be on team India when they take to the field in the third Test match of the five-match series starting on August 18 at Trent Bridge. Team India is trailing the series 0-2.
Virat Kohli & Co. would be hoping to turn things in their favour in the third Test. In the opening two Test matches, Indian batting line-up failed to read moving balls from the English counterparts.
In the first Test, other than Virat Kohli, no other Indian batsmen managed to score with their bat. Skipper Kohli scored 200 runs while the rest of the top-five scored 99 runs across two innings as India lost by 31 runs.
In the second Test at Lord’s, Kohli faced his worst ever Test defeat after he took over the captaincy from MS Dhoni. Indian team lost the game by an innings and 159 runs.
Cricket fans and former veterans feel that poor team selection seems to be the problem with the Indian team during this tour.
On August 16, India’s head coach Ravi Shastri admitted that including Kuldeep Yadav in the Lord’s Test was a mistake as the conditions were in favour of a seamer.
Besides, frequent changes in the batting line-up were also criticised by many cricket pundits who feel the rapid shuffle in the team might hamper the performance over-all.
For the third Test, many of the former Indian cricketers including Sourav Ganguly, Dilip Vengsarkar are now demanding Rishabh Pant to replace Dinesh Karthik, who failed to impress in both the Test matches. Karthik has scored just 21 runs in four innings.
“Rishabh Pant should get in,” Dilip Vengsarkar, the former India batsman and selector, told BBC Radio.
“Apart from Kohli, nobody has shown that they could score runs here,” he added.
Wherein former Indian skipper Sourav Ganguly backed Pant saying ‘inclusion of a left-hander in the side will help the team.”
“I think Rishabh Pant has to come into this side as Dinesh Karthik looks woefully out-of-form. I saw him (Karthik) in the nets and he couldn’t put bat to ball. I think a left-hander in the side will help the team and Pant isn’t scarred by India’s losses and he is also capable of changing the course of a game,” former Indian skipper Sourav Ganguly told the official broadcaster after Lord’s defeat.
Even on Twitter, many Indian cricket fans have been backing Pant for the third Test. Here are some of the reactions:
— Sparsh Telang (@_cricketsparsh) August 17, 2018
— TestCaptain (@TestCaptain1) August 17, 2018
I’m really looking forward to seeing Rishabh Pant play Test Cricket. #INDvENG
— Siddharth (@Actor_Siddharth) August 12, 2018
The ‘Lord of Lord’s’ thinks Rishabh Pant should be in the India XI for the third Test.
Do you agree?
— ICC (@ICC) August 16, 2018
Give Rishabh Pant a chance. But how are you going to solve the problem with the openers? All 3 r floundering. A makeshift opening pair must be found for the next Test. #EngvInd
— Sumanth Raman (@sumanthraman) August 12, 2018
Meanwhile, Pant was spotted hitting the ball during the practice session. Also, he was seen sharpening his wicketkeeping skills in nets. This means he might get his debut call tomorrow.
— Arjun Bhardwaj (@ArjunB_74) August 8, 2018
Pant has been in prime form in the recent past. His sting during the Indian Premier League 2018 was really impressive.