'Rishabh has worked very hard behind the scenes' - Virat Kohli defends Pant's inclusion over Saha in New Zealand Tests

‘Rishabh has worked very hard behind the scenes’ – Virat Kohli defends Pant’s inclusion over Saha in New Zealand Tests

Kohli reckoned that Pant has worked very hard behind the scenes and the management thought that he will come good with the bat this series.

Virat Kohli and Rishabh Pant (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

In the end, it turned out the way it was expected as the ruthless Kiwi pace-attack blew away any hopes that India may have harboured at the beginning of the third day of the second Test in Christchurch. Resuming the day with Hanuma Vihari and Rishabh Pant still at the crease, India would have hoped 0f getting to a respectable total to challenge the Kiwis. However, it was squandered pretty quickly after both Vihari and Pant fell in successive overs within the first fifteen minutes.

Coming into this Test series, all eyes were on India’s choice as their wicket-keeper. Pant was dropped in favour of Saha from the home Tests, but come to the overseas tour, India once again handed the gloves to the southpaw. But, unlike his performances with the bat in England and Australia, Pant could not contribute much with the bat. Virat Kohli defended the move to slot-in Pant ahead of Saha in the post-match conference.

“We have given a lot of chances to Rishabh, you need to figure out when is the right time to give someone a chance. I don’t see anyone taking their place for granted in this team, no one here has come in thinking that I am going to play every game,” Kohli told reporters at the post-match conference.

Virat Kohli refuses to blame individuals after the defeat

Kohli reckoned that Pant has worked very hard behind the scenes and the management thought that he will come good with the bat this series.

“Rishabh has worked very hard behind the scenes, so we thought of giving him a chance in this series. We thought he will come good in this series, but as a collective unit, we did not show a good batting performance,” he added.

It was a collective failure by the Indian batsman who failed to cross the 200-run-mark in three out of the four innings and Virat Kohli is not getting into blaming individuals for their performances.

“Firstly, Rahane is one of those players who has been solid for us in Test cricket. It is about impact performances and he has played some crucial knocks. You also have to figure out as to how many guys average more than 40 in your team. Few games here and there if you don’t score runs, doesn’t mean you are a bad player. There are no issues there,” Kohli said.