India vs England: Rishabh Pant enjoying red ball challenge in England

Rishabh Pant believes the main challenge for him and the other Indian cricket team members will be to negate the challenge of the swinging Duke ball.

cricket Updated: Jul 24, 2018 11:13 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Rishabh Pant,India vs England,Indian cricket team
Rishabh Pant bats during Day Three of the Tour Match between England Lions and India A at New Road on July 18, 2018 in Worcester, England. (Getty Images)

Rishabh Pant is best known for his exploits in the shorter formats of the game, but his decent first-class record saw him get called up to the India side for the five-match Test series against England.

For the 20-year old wicketkeepet-batsman, the main challenge for him and the other Indian batsmen will be to negate the challenge of the swinging Duke ball.

“I have so far enjoyed my preparation with red ball cricket. The Duke ball swings a lot when you’re here in England and initially when I started playing here with India A, I realized that the swing will come a lot into play in these conditions,” he said in an interview to the BCCI’s official website.

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“There isn’t too much difference (between limited overs and five day matches), it’s mainly got more to do with shot selection. In red ball cricket, with the field placements, you can look around, take your time; because you have five days to play. Whereas in limited overs cricket you have limited number of balls to play and score.

He described the feeling of getting his maiden Test call as a “dream come true” for him, his family and his coach.

“It was a great feeling to be included in the Indian Test squad. I always wanted to be a part of the Indian Test squad and it was more like a dream come true for me.”

“It was an amazing feeling, not only for me but also for my family and my coach Tarek Sinha sir, who helped me understand the game very early in my life. He has always wanted me to play Test cricket.”

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He also revealed what advice was given to him by India A coach Rahul Dravid, who has worked with him closely in recent times as part of the India A set up.

“The one thing he (Dravid) always tells me is that you need to be patient about everything, be it on the field or off it. Also, how I need to work harder on my game when it comes to red ball cricket since I’m a positive batsman, but at times you need to play to the situation. See the pace of the game and change your game accordingly.”

He was all praise for MS Dhoni, saying that the former India skipper was someone he looked to for guidance and advice on a lot of matters.

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“I used to ask him everything from my IPL contract to my wicket-keeping. He’s advised me on everything. He’s always told me that when it comes to wicket-keeping, your hands and head is important, the body balance can come into play later, but the key is the hands and head coordination. I worked on what he told me and it has helped me a lot.”

India’s five match Test series begins on August 1, with the first match set to played at Edgbaston.

First Published: Jul 24, 2018 11:10 IST