India coach Anil Kumble said Parthiv Patel was chosen ahead of the exciting Rishabh Pant as a replacement for injured Wriddhiman Saha for the upcoming third England Test in Mohali owing to his experience, and dismissed ball-tampering allegations against skipper Virat Kohli by a British tabloid.
Gujarat wicketkeeper Patel earned a Test recall after eight years.
“Parthiv has been really consistent, both in his keeping as well as batting. That's why Parthiv was chosen,” Kumble told a news conference on Thursday. "I think it's unfortunate that Saha is missing out in this Test match. He had a strain on the final day of the (second) Test match.”
Former Test captain Kumble said Delhi sensation Pant, who is leading the Ranji Trophy batting charts this season with 874 runs in six matches at an average of 97.11, and Tamil Nadu's Dinesh Karthik were in contention.
"Yes, Rishabh has certainly shown the exuberance and what a young cricketer can bring in. He has shown a lot of his batting skills. He has obviously got a lot of runs this season in the domestic circuit,” the Indian coach said.
“But Parthiv was chosen for his keeping skills as well, keeping and his experience. Regarding Dinesh, at the moment I don't think Dinesh is keeping wickets for Tamil Nadu, and I am not sure why that is the case.”
India lead the five-match series 1-0 after winning the second Test in Visakhapatnam. The third Test starts in Mohali on Saturday (Nov 26).
Asked about the Mohali pitch, the former leg-spinner said: “Certainly gone a lot slower to what it probably used to be in the 90s. But having said that, I am someone who certainly does not give too much importance to the conditions.
“We need to play good cricket. I certainly believe that we played good cricket, both in Rajkot and in Vizag. That's why we are 1-0 ahead in the series. We will have to do that again, repeat that again in Mohali, no matter what the conditions are.”
Kumble had a word of praise for off-spinner Jayant Yadav, who returned a
"Very impressed. The interactions that I have had, he comes across as a very balanced individual. Probably he had a dream debut. He contributed with bat and ball and also had a brilliant fielding effort in the first innings. Overall you can't ask for more. And the team goes on and wins the game as well," Kumble said.
Daily Mail accused Kohli of tampering with the ball during the drawn first Test in Rajkot in a report published earlier this week. This was after South Africa captain Faf du Plessis was found guilty of tampering with the ball during the second Test against Australia in Hobart and
“First of all, I don't want to react to any report that is in the media. As far as I am concerned, neither the umpires nor match referee never ever came to us talking about it. Even for someone like Faf du Plessis, South Africa has played exceptional cricket to beat Australia 2-0 and to be told that this ball tampering or whatever, I think it is very silly,” he said.
"It's making a mountain out of a molehill. Something we would certainly not like to give too much wind to the story. As far as I am concerned, there is nothing to worry about. People can allege and write whatever they want in the media. As far as we are concerned, there is absolutely nothing that any of our players were a part of.”