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Rishabh Pant smokes Ish Sodhi for consecutive sixes in the practice game against New Zealand XI

Pant eventually lost his place from Team India after KL Rahul was handed over the responsibility of keeping the wickets.

Rishabh Pant
Rishabh Pant. (Photo Source: Twitter)

New Zealand XI and India locked horns in a three-day practice match at Seddon Park ahead of the two-match Test series which is slated to kick off on 21 February. Despite the practice match resulting in a draw, the crowd was entertained with many individual batting and bowling performances. Chesteshwar Pujara and Hanuma Vihari’s gritty tons, Shami’s brilliant spells and Mayank Agarwal’s top-notch knock were a few highlights of the practice match.

However, one player, who rose on the occasion and proved that he still has the potential to make a comeback into the Indian squad is Rishabh Pant. After being scrutinized constantly for his poor glovework and irresponsible batting, the southpaw exhibited his batting forte against New Zealand XI by smashing a quick-fire 70 including 4 fours and 4 sixes.

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The highlight of Pant’s innings was the left-hander dispatching consecutive sixes straight down the ground off Ish Sodhi. The 22-year-old is known for his fearless approach and fiery sixes– something which he duly obliged to deliver against New Zealand XI.

After the departure of opener Mayank Agarwal (retired out) and Shubman Gill, Pant steadied India’s innings to ensure that the hosts don’t suffer from a batting debacle. The wicketkeeper was also assisted by Wriddhiman Saha, who scored 30 as the scoreboard reflected 252/4 at the culmination of the match,

Pant lost his place from Team India after KL Rahul was handed over the responsibility of keeping the wickets. Pant, who was touted to cement his place ahead of Sanju Samson, failed to deliver consistent performances due to which he was eventually dropped from the squad after the first ODI against Australia.

Rishabh Pant aiming to return to India’s limited-overs setup

After missing the T20I and ODI series against the Black Caps, the Delhi Capitals‘ player will be eager to retaliate and bounce back on the international scene by delivering consistent performances in the Test series. Despite Wriddhiman Saha’s presence as the first-choice wicketkeeper  in Tests, Pant can prove to be a handy choice to bolster the middle-order batting force of India.

In a career spanning over 11 Tests so far, the left-hander has smashed 754 runs including two tons and two half-centuries. An impressive overseas Test tour can prove beneficial for the southpaw who is eyeing a comeback in India’s limited-overs setup. The first Test between New Zealand and India is scheduled to start from February 21 at Basin Reserve, Wellington.

Here’s the video:

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