Wicket-keeper batsman Rishabh Pant, who made his debut in the Nottingham Test, has credited India ‘A’ stint in England this summer for his impressive performance at Trent Bridge.
Pant, besides scoring an attacking 24 in the first innings, took seven catches in the match which India won by 203 runs. His seven catches is also a record for Indian keeping debutante.
“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.
“I am practising 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.
Pant, who scored crucial 24 in the first innings, showed maturity in countering the English attack when India lost their way late on Day One. The standout moment for Pant came when he smacked leg-spinner Adil Rashid for a six off the second ball that he faced in Test cricket. He became the first Indian batsman to get off the mark in Test cricket with a six.
Speaking about the six, the 20-year-old said that despite being nervous, he reacted according to the ball. “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.
In Nottingham Test, Pant spilled a few chances, particularly against Jasprit Bumrah, but he said it was owing to the angle that the pacer creates at time of delivery.
“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.
England, who currently lead the five-match series 1-2, will face India in the fourth Test beginning August 30 at Rose Bowl, Southampton.
(With PTI inputs)