Rishabh Pant - the flamboyant wicket-keeper batsman - has said that the stint with India ‘A’ is behind his plausible display on Test debut and it helped him to deal with the extra pace and bounce in the third Test at Trent Bridge, Nottingham. The 20-year-made impressed many with his confident 24-run knock in the first innings and then his record-breaking seven catches for a debutant.
“Keeping in England is always difficult because the ball wobbles a lot behind the wicket. The thing is that I have been playing India-A cricket since last two-and-a-half months in England, so it has been helpful for me,” Pant said after India defeated England by 203 runs in the third Test.
“I am practicing in the nets on how to deal with that and it is working now,” added Pant, who played for India A against England Lions and West Indies A before being named in the Test squad.
However, Pant miscued few chances, particularly from those of Jasprit Bumrah as he said that the main problem was the angle that the seamer creates and it was a big challenge for him.
“It is a big challenge, but the thing is that when Bumrah bowls, he bowls with a different angle. So, sometimes we react to it. That day I reacted too much on that ball and the edge came off. I’m not saying that it was not too difficult a catch; I could have pulled it off,” he said.
“As a keeper, you have to wait for the outside edge. That is the only thing I can do, and that is what I have learned after that thing. I am going to wait for the outside edge. That is the only solution.”
Pant stated that the Test debut was an unforgettable experience.
“It is a great experience, actually. I have played with all the people (team members) in IPL and domestic cricket but when you play for the country, it is a different feeling. It was a dream for me to play Test cricket.”
After the struggles from Dinesh Karthik in the first two Tests, Pant’s inclusion was a fresh welcome to the Indian side as India needed solidity in the batting line-up and the Delhi Daredevil man lived up to the expectations with a solid 24-run knock.
The standout moment for the debutant came when he tonked an Adil Rashid delivery for a six off the second delivery in his Test cricket career.
“I was nervous. Everyone is nervous when they play their first match. When I see the ball I don’t think too much, just see the ball and react to it. That is what happened. I was just playing normal cricket - that is all,” he said.
The Roorkee youngster has been making waves in Delhi’s domestic circuit and impressed in the Ranji Trophy and the IPL by scoring big runs in what has been a steady rise for the left-handed southpaw.