India captain Virat Kohli on Wednesday said wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant will always take his chances when he feels he can change the complexion of the game with his intent and skill. Pant’s batting in the longer format is under scanner after his ordinary outing in the first Test and World Test Championship final against New Zealand. However, Kohli has backed the flamboyant wicketkeeper to continue playing his usual game. The first Test between India and England ended in a draw after rain played spoilsport on the final day of the Test. The visitors looked set for victory, needing 157 runs to win on the final day, with nine wickets in hand, but the weather gods had something else in mind.Also Read - IPL 2021 Today Match Report, SRH vs RR 2021 Scorecard: Jason Roy, Kane Williamson Shine in SunRisers Hyderabad's 7-Wicket Win Over Rajasthan Royals
Pant had played a quickfire cameo of 20 runs off 25 balls in the first innings, but he was not able to march ahead. “That is basically how he plays. He has the capability to carry on and play long innings in that manner. It necessarily does not have to be a very defensive role, when there is a demand of the situation, he is intelligent enough to understand,” said Kohli during a virtual press conference. Also Read - Virat Kohli's Shirtless Photo During RCB's Pool Session is a Hit on Twitter, Check Viral PIC
“If we are looking to save a game, you would not see him play those kinds of shots. Whenever there is a 50-50 situation and he can change the game, he will take the chance. Also Read - After SRH Drop David Warner, Twitterverse Demand Aussie Star Should Replace Virat Kohli as RCB Skipper
“That’s how he plays and that is who he is. From Rishabh, we expect that he plays the innings that changes the momentum of the game and take that balance towards us. He is going to play this way,” he added.
When asked about Ajinkya Rahane’s form heading into the second Test, Kohli said: “I do not think that is an area of concern. Our basic focus is not to think about where are people individually at the moment, collectively how much strength they bring into the team is our focus.
“As a batting unit, we are looking to perform in difficult conditions so that we are in winning positions.
“Last match, KL Rahul, Ravindra Jadeja, Jasprit Bumrah, Rishabh Pant with the cameo, they were outstanding. Rohit gave us a solid start as well so look people are going to contribute every now and then.
“You need to understand as a side, what is the best batting outfit you can present on the park,” he added.