Rahul Dravid backs Rishabh Pant to flourish in red-ball cricket after India call-up

Sudhir Gupta 22/07/2018
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Rishab Pant had an excellent tour of England with India A.

Rishabh Pant is quickly making a name for himself after his exhilarating performances for Delhi Daredevils in the IPL this year which have been followed by an equally impressive showing in India A’s tour of England.

That rich vein of form has seen the young wicketkeeper-batsman named in India‘s 18-man squad for the upcoming Test series against England after Wriddhiman Saha was ruled out due to a shoulder injury.

Despite Pant being known for his aggressive and attacking approach to batting, India A coach Rahul Dravid believes that the youngster has the temperament to succeed in every format.

“Rishabh has shown that he could bat differently. He has the temperament and skills to bat differently,” Dravid told bcci.tv.

“He is always going to be an attacking player but reading of the situation when one is playing red ball cricket is required. We are glad that he has been picked in the national team and I hope he takes this maturity and builds from thereon.”

Dravid, who has also coached Pant in his India U19 days, expressed his delight at how the youngster had handled various situations during the India A tour.

Dravid coached the India A team in their tour of England.

Dravid coached the India A team in their tour of England.

“On this trip, we challenged him a lot to bat according to the situation. He got a critical 64 not out in the One-Day tri-series final (England Lions), when he was the last recognised batsman,” he said.

“And also against West Indies A, he put on a 100-run partnership with Jayant Yadav,” the batting legend added.

The former India batsman believes having shadow tours like India A’s recent sojourns in England is of great benefit to the senior team.

“It’s great to have shadow tours. It may not always be possible but whenever it’s possible it’s highly beneficial. A lot of players have joined the national side from the team. It also gave Murali Vijay and Ajinkya Rahane come down and spend time with us and play a practice game that was competitive and tough,” said Dravid.

Dravid’s men completed their assignment in England with a loss to England Lions in their second unofficial Test at Worcester. Pant however, did well to register half-centuries in each innings.

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Sri Lanka in the driving seat to claim Test series victory over South Africa

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Akila Dananjaya took two wickets on Sunday

Sri Lanka are closing in on a series win after leaving South Africa five down at stumps on the third day of the second Test in Colombo.

The hosts declared their second innings to set a huge victory target of 490 and they are on the verge of a crushing success after spinners Akila Dananjaya and Rangana Herath each took two wickets to reduce South Africa to 139 for five.

Theunis De Bruyn was the only South Africa batsman to offer any resistance with an unbeaten 45 off 97 balls. He remains at the crease with Temba Bavuma (14).

Dimuth Karunaratne (85), Danushka Gunathilaka (61) and Angelo Mathews (71) all posted half-centuries as Sri Lanka declared on 275 for five after starting the third morning on 151 for three.

For South Africa, who must win the second Test to avoid defeat in the two-match series, left-arm spinner Keshav Maharaj took three for 154 to finish with a 12-wicket match haul.

Sri Lanka won the opening Test in Galle by 278 runs inside three days and another comfortable victory looks on the cards.

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Stuart Broad is playing his first competitive match since injury.

Stuart Broad makes his return from injury as Nottinghamshire host leaders Surrey in the County Championship.

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James Anderson, Jos Buttler and Keaton Jeanings’ battle with England team-mates Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow will have to wait after rain at Old Trafford delayed the start of Lancashire’s match against Yorkshire.

Moeen Ali will have the first chance to impress in his showdown with fellow spinner Jack Leach after Worcestershire opted to bowl in their Division One clash with Somerset, who were without Dom Bess – England’s slow bowler in the series against Pakistan.

In Division Two, Dawid Malan – England’s incumbent number four – won the toss as Middlesex captain and chose to bat against Warwickshire, boosted by the availability of all-rounder Chris Woakes.

Durham pair Mark Wood and Ben Stokes will have the ball in their hands early after Gloucestershire won the toss and batted in their game at Cheltenham.

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