Rishabh Pant to start in first Test against England, confirms Virat Kohli

Written By: Subhayan Chakraborty WION Web Team
New Delhi, India Published: Feb 04, 2021, 05:15 PM(IST)

Rishabh Pant to start first Test against England in Chennai, says Virat Kohli Photograph:( AFP )

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Indian skipper Virat Kohli on Thursday confirmed that Rishabh Pant will start the first Test against England as the wicket-keeper of the side. India have over the past couple of home seasons have preferred Wriddhiman Saha over Pant as the specialist wicket-keeper due to the former being one of the finest with the gloves. 

Indian skipper Virat Kohli on Thursday confirmed that Rishabh Pant will start the first Test against England as the wicket-keeper of the side. India have over the past couple of home seasons have preferred Wriddhiman Saha over Pant as the specialist wicket-keeper due to the former being one of the finest with the gloves. 

However, Pant's recent exploits and heroic knocks against Australia have helped the southpaw regain his place in the playing XI when it comes to home Test matches. Interestingly, Pant's last home Test was back in 2018, against the West Indies.  

Kohli, lauding Pant's impact against Australia, said that the 23-year-old is in a good headspace and they want to continue with him. The Indian skipper added that the entire Indian team is happy to see Pant flourish. 

Pant was India's highest run-scorer in the recently concluded series against Australia despite missing the Adelaide Test. The southpaw accumulated 274 runs in five innings at an average of 68.50. 

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"Yes, Rishabh (Pant) will start tomorrow. He had a massive impact in Australia and is in a good headspace and we want to continue with him. He's come along nicely after the IPL and he's worked hard in his fitness and his game. We were very happy to see him flourish,” said Kohli in the pre-match press conference on the eve of the first Test against India in Chennai. 

Kohli will be back leading the team after missing the last three Tests against Australia to be with his wife on the birth of their first child. Ajinkya Rahane, in Kohli's absence, led the Indian team impeccably well as India won the series 2-1.  

Rahane has always lauded Kohli for his leadership qualities and on Wednesday, said that he is happy taking a back seat as Kohli is back leading the team. Praising Rahane for his splendid leadership qualities which he showed in the series against Australia, Kohli said that everyone in the team only wants India to win. 

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"The fact that Jinks (Rahane) mentioned what he did because the relationship between us and the whole team is one of trust: we only want India to win. He fulfilled his role with flying colours in Australia," Kohli said. 

Meanwhile, the Indian team will have an optional practice session before the match starts on Friday in Chennai.  

India last lost a home Test series back in 2012 – against England – and will look to continue their domination on home soil. 

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