Parthiv Patel believes India wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant still has some work to do as far as his primary role is concerned. Pant, who replaced Wriddhiman Saha in the Boxing Day Test against Australia at the MCG, dropped a catch on Day 3 off the bowling of off-spinner R Ashwin.
Pant was included in the Playing XI ahead of Saha on the basis of his batting, to strengthen it in the absence of Virat Kohli, and Patel reckons the team management should be ready for the occasional miss from the 23-year-old because his wicketkeeping needs polishing.
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“Everyone, including the Indian team management is aware that his wicketkeeping is still work in progress. He’s playing this Test match because of his batting because runs were important, so you will have to move ahead expecting such occasional drop catches. He needs to work hard on his wicketkeeping,” Parthiv told Cricbuzz
In the 60th over of Australia’s second innings, Pat Cummins edged R Ashwin but Pant put it down. Cummins and all-rounder Cameron Green forged an unbeaten partnership of 34 runs till stumps on Day 3 to take Australia to 133/6, but had Pant held on to it, the scenario would have been even gloomier for Australia. Having said that, Patel mentioned that it’s not as if Pant is lacking in preparation. As a matter of fact, Pant played all four Tests of the 2018-19 Border-Gavaskar Trophy.
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“There’s a different type of preparation when you’re playing in Australia. The bounce is a little more on those pitches as compared to India but he has previously played four Test matches in Australia too so he has the experience and knows how to keep wicket in Australia,” Parthiv explained.
“There’s no doubt that he works on his keeping but having said that, he can back himself a bit more when it comes to pressure situations. In terms of preparation and process, he isn’t too behind but yes, he can focus a but more towards keeping.”
Green and Pat Cummins (22) added 57 runs for the seventh wicket with the pitch offering nothing to the bowlers. The partnership was broken only after the new ball was taken.For India, debutant pacer Mohammed Siraj (3/37) took three wickets while Jasprit Bumrah (2/54) and Ravindra Jadeja (2/28) and Ravichandran Ashwin (2/71) took two wickets apiece.India are trailing the four-match series 0-1, having lost the pink-ball Test in Adelaide