India head coach Rahul Dravid has revealed that the team management will have a conversation with Rishabh Pant around shot selection after he was dismissed for a three ball duck in the Johannesburg Test. Dravid also added that Pant will keep improving and getting better with his experience.
South Africa won the second Test of the series in Johannesburg on Thursday and both the teams have now won a single fixture. The series decider will be played in Cape Town and will be important for both the teams as they can gain some Test Championship points with the win. Shardul Thakur picked seven wickets but no batsman was able to play a big knock individually.
Rishabh Pant was dismissed in the second innings on a delivery by Kagiso Rabada in an attempt to attack the bowler stepping down the wicket. Several former cricketers criticized Pant for his shot selection. India head coach Rahul Dravid has revealed that the team management will have a conversation with Rishabh Pant around his shot selection.
"We know Rishabh plays positively and he plays in a particular manner and that has got him a little bit of success. But yeah, of course there are times when we're going to have some level of conversations with him around, just a little bit of maybe just selection of the time to play that [shot],” Dravid said in the post-match press conference.
"No one's ever going to tell Rishabh not to be a positive player, not to be an aggressive player, but sometimes it's just a question of picking and choosing the time to do that. I think when you just come in, maybe giving yourself a bit more time might be a little bit more advisable, but look, in the end we know what we're getting with Rishabh - he is a really positive player, he's someone who can change the course of a game very quickly for us, so you naturally won't take that away from him and ask him to become something very different. Sometimes it's just about figuring out what is the right time to maybe attack or maybe play out a slightly difficult period that sets the game up for you or sets the innings up.”
"He's learning. He plays in a particular way, so it's always something that he's going to keep learning, he's going to keep improving and keep getting better.”
Virat Kohli was resting on the sidelines for the second Test as he was suffering back spasm. Dravid said that Kohli is likely to return to the team for the final fixture of the Test series
"From all accounts, he should be fine," Dravid said. "He's had the opportunity to run around a little bit, he's had the opportunity to test it a little bit, I'll be down only now at the moment in the nets with a few throwdowns and stuff, so hopefully with a few net sessions in Cape Town, he should be good to go,” he stated.
"I haven't had a detailed discussion with the physio as yet, but from everything I'm hearing and from just having a chat with him, he's really improving and should be good to go in four days' time."
Hanuma Vihari was looking solid in both the innings he batted. He scored 20 and 40 runs in the first and second innings respectively. He is likely to lose his place in the squad in case Kohli returns to the squad. The middle order is stacked heavily as Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara have a strong backing from team management. Shreyas Iyer is also waiting for his opportunity in the series.Dravid praised Vihari for the way he batted in Johannesburg.
"Firstly I think Vihari played really well in this Test match, in both innings in fact," Dravid said. "I think in the first innings he got a nasty one, unfortunately for him it popped up and the fielder got his fingertips to it and took a really good catch, and he batted beautifully in the second innings, so that gives us a lot of confidence,” he explained.
Dravid also said that Iyer has been doing well whenever he had the opportunity of playing for the national team.
"Shreyas [Iyer] has also done that two or three Test matches ago, he's got runs as well, and I think they've just got to take heart from the fact that whenever they're getting the opportunities they are doing well, and hopefully their time will come. You look back on some of our guys who are now considered senior players, they also had to wait their time,” he concluded.
"They also had to score a lot of runs, they've had, at the start of their careers, it's probably been a bit stop-start as well. So it happens. It's just the nature of the sport, it's the nature of the game, and it will happen, so I think they can take heart [from their performances] and we can take a lot of confidence from the way Vihari batted in this game, he really played well, that should give him a lot of confidence, and it certainly gives us a lot of confidence."