After missing out on the ODI series against Bangladesh, Rishabh Pant will be making a comeback to playing Test cricket. Pant, after being released from India’s squad ahead of the ODIs on medical grounds, was seen practicing hard in the nets ahead of the opening Test against Bangladesh. He has been criticized left, right, and center for poor form lately for his performances in the Asia Cup, T20 World Cup, and New Zealand.
But with the Chattogram Test, Rishabh Pant can set the record straight. This year alone, he has two brilliant centuries – in South Africa and England. Ahead of Day 1 of the Test series, former India batter Wasim Jaffer has opined that the little break will be good for the wicketkeeper to have got a fresh start of sorts.
During a chat with ESPNCricinfo, Wasim Jaffer said, “Rishabh Pant has been disappointing in T20 cricket as well as ODIs for that matter, but he has got a small break. I’m sure his mind must have been refreshed after the break. He is a very important player for Team India and I feel his performances are necessary for the side.”
Rishabh Pant, who has scored 2123 runs from 31 matches at an average of 43.32 and five centuries, will not be the only player in focus from the XI as India is playing a Test match after a gap of almost 6 months. In fact, this is their first series in whites since hosting Sri Lanka at home. They did play the rescheduled Test from last year in England but in a year where they played mostly T20Is considering the T20 World Cup.
Barring Pant, eyes will also be on Cheteshwar Pujara and Virat Kohli. Both have witnessed a mixed 2022. Kohli has only scored one Test fifty this year while Pujara has been through a roller coaster ride, first getting dropped from the squad before making a comeback for the England Test. With Kohli and Pujara being the two senior campaigners, Wasim Jaffer expects both to fire.
Wasim Jaffer elaborated, “The performances of Pujara, Kohli and Pant matter a lot. I am expecting a big score from Kohli in one contest, if not both the matches, because the pitch is really good to bat on and he looks in good form at the moment.”