Pant has great game but will give you a chance: Root

Written by Vipin Darwade

Indian wicket-keeper Rishabh Pant’s stocks have risen dramatically since the Border-Gavaskar Trophy in Australia. The youngster’s heroics Down Under have not just assured him of a long-rope in the Indian Test team but also forced the opponent team to plan exclusively for him. England skipper Joe Root, ahead of the third Test against India in Ahmedabad, hinted at the strategy his team will adopt against the wicket-keeper in the day-night Test.

Two matches into the series, Pant is already among the top-scoring players with the bat. He has 168 runs to his name in two games, with only Root (297) and Rohit Sharma (205) ahead of him. Planning against Pant, hence, remains of utmost priority for England who are looking to reclaim the lead in the pink-ball Test.

“He (Pant) is a fine player and plays some extraordinary shots. He makes it very difficult for some bowlers to bowl at him. But more than anything, (it is on us as to) can we keep him quiet and can we make it difficult for him to really take us on and find ways of either getting him off the strike or get him out. Rishabh is extremely talented and he has got a great game but he will give you a chance and we just got to be ready to take that when it comes,” Root told reporters on the eve of the third Test at Motera.

England have been asked by many fans and experts to field both James Anderson and Stuart Broad together in the pink-ball Test. It was Broad who made the starting XI in the second Test at Chennai after Anderson was rested. Although Root didn’t confirm if he is planning to use both of them together, he did admit that it is a possibility.

“The records that they (Anderson and Broad) have and the things that they produce, especially in the last couple of years, is the reason why they are up there with the top three bowlers in the world. They are consistently getting better and the older they get, they are using that experience to their advantage. I am sure there will be opportunities where they will get to play together in the near future and much further down the line as well. The records that they set will be very difficult to surpass,” Root concluded.

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Vipin Darwade