India wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant was not included in the playing XI during the ODI and T20I series against New Zealand. The left-hander was dropped after he suffered a concussion in the first ODI against Australia last month, with wicketkeeper KL Rahul donning the gloves. Rahul continued to be India’s keeper during the limited-overs series against NZ, and Pant, despite declared fit, was kept on the sidelines.
Also read: Lethal pacers, art of attrition – 3 big takeaways for India after drawn warm-up clash
Now, ahead of the 1st Test between India and New Zealand, Pant showcased why Team India could still trust him to do the job in the longest format. Coming out to bat on the final day of the warm-up Test against New Zealand XI in Hamilton, Pant hammered Ish Sodhi for two back-to-back sixes.
The left-armer slammed four fours and four sixes as he scored 70 runs in 65 balls in the 2nd innings of the three-day match that ended in a draw.
While Mayank and Pant shared a 100-run partnership (134 runs for the third wicket), Prithvi Shaw scored a quickfire 39 off 31 balls. Even Wriddhiman Saha didn’t do his reputation any harm as he hit an unbeaten 30 off 38 balls. But Shubman Gill couldn’t make much of the opportunity as he managed just 8.
The Indian batsmen came out from where they had left on Saturday and looked to put the foot on the accelerator, but Daryl Mitchell sent Shaw back after the opener managed to add just four runs to his overnight score. An attempted drive saw him miss the line and the timber was disturbed.
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