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New Zealand vs India: Rishabh Pant gears up for the T20I series

Pant was seen playing some improvised shots in the nets.

Rishabh Pant
Rishabh Pant. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

The Indian fans haven’t seen Rishabh Pant playing for the country after his earth-shattering 159 not out in the final Test against Australia in Sydney last month. The 21-year-old wicketkeeper-batsman who has been a sensational success in the longer format was replaced by the legendary Mahendra Singh Dhoni for the ODIs against Australia and New Zealand that followed. Pant played for India ‘A’ against England Lions at home meanwhile and now he is back to represent the country on the international stage.

Pant, who played for India in the three T20Is against Australia last November after replacing Dhoni, has reached New Zealand for the T20I series starting in Wellington on Wednesday. Pant could play as a specialist batsman and he was seen practicing in full flow at the nets on the eve of the first match. The Delhi cricketer made his international debut in the T20I format against England in 2017 but has played in only 10 matches so far with one fifty.

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Pant’s explosive improvisation at nets shocks Bishan Bedi

Pant was seen playing some improvised shots in the nets and the left-hand batsman executed one switch-hit kind of shot against a fast bowler by going way out to his off. A video of the shot was shared by the BCCI on Twitter. The former India captain Bishan Singh Bedi, a representative of the traditional days in the game, was clearly stunned. “Bloody horrendous,” was his reaction to Pant’s unique hit.

In the Tests, Pant has already amassed scored 696 runs in nine games at an average of almost 50. He scored a hundred in his debut Test series in England last year and after scoring a couple of 90s, came out with the scintillating 159 not out – the second highest score for any foreign wicket-keeper on the Australian soil. He finished as the second-highest scorer from either side after the man of the series Cheteshwar Pujara.

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