Ravichandran Ashwin, who had an incredible day-out in Chennai, insisted that Indian wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant is working really hard on his glove work. There was criticism for India for using Kuldeep Yadav late but Ashwin stated that it is ought to happen given he’s the third spinner.
Indian gloveman Rishabh Pant continued to impress with his batting as he made fifty in the fourth consecutive Test. He remained unbeaten at the end of India’s first innings on 58* and helped the hosts reach 329 hitting some clean sixes of the English spinners. But remarkably enough, it was his wicketkeeing today that stole the thunder as he took an exceptional diving catch to his left off Mohammed Siraj’s bowling that left everyone in awe of his abilities. In the first Test, he had kept well but did make errors, not quite so today, even though it was a turner and the kind of pitch where his keeping remains under scrutiny the most.
Pant had missed a simple stumping chance on the bowling of R Ashwin in the first Test after which the offie was seen telling him how to use his hands better whilst keeping. But after his good day out in the park, when Ashwin was asked about Pant’s keeping, he revealed that the 23-year-old is working really hard on his glovework and also outlined that it’s wrong to constantly compare him with others.
“In terms of Rishabh Pant’s keeping, the name of the game is confidence. He has been batting well, he has been working incredibly hard on his keeping. Sometimes, when you are constantly compared with someone, it can be really hard. I really do feel for Rishabh, especially when he is playing the white-ball format, he was constantly compared with the great MS Dhoni. Now too, he is being compared with Saha and so on, sometimes it is better to give him a break. He definitely has the ability and will go on from strength to strength, which I have no doubts on,” Ashwin said in the virtual presser.
Axar Patel, who is making his Test debut in the ongoing game was really good as well as he took the crucial wicket of Joe Root when the English skipper mistimed his favorite sweep shot to hand over Patel a memorable maiden scalp. The left-arm spinner also got rid of Moeen Ali later and finished with figures of 2/40. Ashwin also reckoned that taking Root’s wicket, who had made a double-hundred last test, was crucial for the team.
“Axar Patel is one of those players who has playing first-class cricket for a while now. He has had his share of good performances. Like I mentioned before about Washi, we see them in the limited-overs format and build our own perception. So with respect to that, getting Joe Root in his first Test must be a really good thing for him, very important wicket in terms of the game. And Moeen Ali too, it was crucial for us to get that wicket.”
On a wicket which was turning square, Kuldeep Yadav was introduced late in the attack and bowled merely six overs while both Axar and Ashwin bowled 20 and 23.5 overs respectively. Reacting on the criticism that India received on bowling him late, the offie, who take a fifer today, asserted that he’s the third spinner and in a five-man attack, it takes time to get to bowl.
“Look sometimes, we just play the game and we don’t see how you guys are seeing the game. Anyone who has played the game will understand that there are five bowlers and he’s the third spinner. It will take time before he gets his turn. This is how the game goes, this is pretty much how it happens. I think it is more about the perception of what people want to see. I thought he bowled really well and I think you will see an increasing role for him.”