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first_imgRishabh Pant continued his impressive form with the bat in England as he hit another fifty during India A’s second innings against England Lions in the only unofficial Test at Worcester.India A lost the match by a huge margin of 253 runs but Pant and Ajinkya Rahane’s form will provide some relief for the Indian team, which included the duo in their Test squad for the first three matches against England.Pant, who was unbeaten on 37 at stumps on Day 2 of the match against England Lions, received the call up on Wednesday before the start if third day’s play. He has been included as the backup wicket-keeper in India’s Test squad. The left-hander then completed his fifty before getting clean bowled for 58 off a Chris Woakes delivery.In the second innings, he followed it up with a 71-ball 61 and was the only batsman in the India A team to score a fifty in the second innings as the visitors were bowled out for 167 on the last day of the Test while chasing 421.Pant’s good run of form should boost the chances of him getting a match in the upcoming series. However, the chances of that are pretty slim as Dinesh Karthik, who replaced the injured Wriddhiman Saha for the one-off Test against Afghanistan, is likely to play ahead of Pant.The 20-year-old was in destructive form in the Indian Premier League, hitting 684 runs from 14 matches at an average of 52.61. The diminutive wicketkeeper-batsman slammed one century and five half-centuries for Delhi Daredevils in this year’s IPL. On the back of it, Pant was selected for India A’s tour of England as well.advertisementAnd so far, he has hit four half-centuries and has performed decently behind the stumps as well. Pant has 17 dismissals in eight matches including 16 catches and one stumping so far and is perfectly acclimatised to the English conditions as well as he arrived early in June for India A’s tour.Other than Pant, Rahane’s form will also be a positive for Kohli and Co. The Team India vice-captain didn’t get big scores but dug in there and played two gritty innings in the only Test. He scored a 137-ball 49 in the first innings and got 48 off 70 balls in the second essay. Rahane’s stay of 316 minutes at the crease from both the innings combined, will give him loads of confidence going into the Test series against England.However, Murali Vijay’s form may worry the team and can well tempt them to start with KL Rahul and Shikhar Dhawan as the openers in the first Test. The Tamil Nadu opener only mustered scores of 8 and 0 from the two innings against the England Lions attack that boasted of bowlers like Sam Curran, Chris Woakes, Dominic Bess, Matthew Fisher, Jamie Porter and Jack Leach.The trio of Pant, Rahane and Vijay will now join the senior squad and train with theam ahead of the first Test, which starts from August 1. Following that, the next four Tests will be played at Lord’s (August 9 to August 13), Trent Bridge (August 18 to August 22), The Rose Bowl (August 30 to September 3) and Kennington Oval (September 7 to September 11).India squad for first three Tests vs England:Virat Kohli (C), Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, M Vijay, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane (vice-captain), Karun Nair, Dinesh Karthik (WK), Rishabh Pant (WK), R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav, Hardik Pandya, Ishant Sharma, Mohd. Shami, Umesh Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Shardul Thakur.last_img


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