The 20-year-old is set to replace wicketkeeper Dinesh Karthik in what is a must-win game for the visitors. Virat Kohli’s men have their backs to the wall after falling 0-2 behind in the five-match Test series and they will be hoping that Pant’s inclusion can provide the spark a turnaround.
Pant was seen hard at work with the wicketkeeping pads during the team’s practice session on Friday and all signs point towards him making his Test debut at Nottingham.
The left-hander proved his mettle for India ‘A’ in their recent shadow tour of England where he registered three half-centuries in four first-class innings. Karthik, meanwhile, has averaged just five with the bat since making his Test comeback for India and has struggled in the wicketkeeping department too on the tour of England so far.
From what I have seen these last two days here at India's nets... Rishabh Pant to make his Test debut tomorrow. #EngvInd— Chetan Narula (@chetannarula) August 17, 2018
Also, Jasprit Bumrah should make his long awaited return from injury. The pacer was declared fit to bowl in the Test by Kohli on Friday and will in all likelihood replace Kuldeep Yadav in the line-up.
In the batting department, the opening position remains an issue for India with none of Murali Vijay, KL Rahul or Shikhar Dhawan firing so far. While Vijay is expected to keep his place as the senior opener, it remains to be seen who Kohli picks as his partner at Trent Bridge.
Having recovered from the thumb injury he sustained against Ireland in a T20, Bumrah too, like Pant, was given an extended session on Friday and his comeback should be a huge boost for the visitors.
Hosts England announced their playing XI on Friday with the returning Ben Stokes replacing Sam Curran.
The all-rounder’s return, after being cleared of affray charges, is the only change to the England team which won at Lord’s with Chris Woakes keeping his place in the side after his player of the match performance.
India likely XI: Murali Vijay, KL Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (c), Ajinkya Rahane, Rishabh Pant (wk), Hardik Pandya, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ishant Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami
England XI: Alastair Cook, Keaton Jennings, Joe Root (c), Ollie Pope, Jonny Bairstow (wk), Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler, Chris Woakes, Adil Rashid, Stuart Broad, James Anderson
Kieron Pollard hit his maiden T20 hundred to hand St Lucia Stars their first win in 15 matches in the Caribbean Premier League, setting up a 38-run triumph over Barbados Tridents.
The Stars looked almost certain to end their losing streak a day earlier against Trinbago Knight Riders, but failed to defend 85 in the last five overs to suffer a five-wicket defeat.
However, St Lucia got a chance to bounce back withing 24 hours and captain Pollard led by example, smashing a 53-ball century – his first in T20s in his 384th innings – and starring in a 148-run stand with Andre Fletcher (80 from 52) to take his team to a CPL record total of 226-6.
Tridents opener Dwayne Smith hit 58 off 45 deliveries, but there no serious challenge as Barbados’ run-chase came up well short on 188-6.
“The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and the Emirates Cricket Board signed an agreement today for the United Arab Emirates to host the 2018 edition of the Asia Cup,” the BCCI’s acting secretary Amitabh Chaudhary stated in a press release.
“We are thankful to the Emirates Cricket Board for hosting the 2018 Asia Cup on behalf of the BCCI. We will see some of the sport’s powerhouse nations go head-to-head for ultimate glory.
“And I am confident that cricket fans around the world will enjoy every moment of this prestigious event.”
The agreement was signed in Dubai with the BCCI being represented by its acting secretary Amitabh Chaudhary and chief executive Rahul Johri. Emirates Cricket Board chairman and His Highness Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan signed the agreement on behalf of the UAE.
The 50-over tournament was originally slated to be held in India but was shifted to the UAE due to the ongoing political tensions between the Indian and Pakistan governments. The Asian Cricket Council (ACC) then decreed that UAE will host the tournament on the BCCI’s behalf.
The six-team affair will be held from September 15 to 28 with Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Bangladesh and a qualifier making up the rest of the teams.
India and Pakistan have been assured of two clashes against each other in the tournament’s schedule which was released a while ago. The first of their guaranteed clashes will take place in the group-stage on September 19 at Dubai.