Sourav Ganguly Wants Rishabh Pant To Be Allowed To Play His Natural Game

Sourav Ganguly, Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) president, has branded dashing keeper Rishabh Pant an “unbelievable talent” and asserted that the 23-year-old should be allowed to play his natural game. Team India announced their playing XI for the World Test Championship final against New Zealand, and as expected, Rishabh Pant is set to feature for the Asian giants as he was preferred over Wriddhiman Saha in the final XI. Rishabh Pant has established himself as a vital cog in the Indian team across all three formats since his heroics in the 2020-21 Border-Gavaskar Trophy against Australia. Sourav

Sourav Ganguly Wants Rishabh Pant To Be Allowed To Play His Natural Game

Sourav Ganguly, Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) president, has branded dashing keeper Rishabh Pant an “unbelievable talent” and asserted that the 23-year-old should be allowed to play his natural game. Team India announced their playing XI for the World Test Championship final against New Zealand, and as expected, Rishabh Pant is set to feature for the Asian giants as he was preferred over Wriddhiman Saha in the final XI.

Rishabh Pant has established himself as a vital cog in the Indian team across all three formats since his heroics in the 2020-21 Border-Gavaskar Trophy against Australia.

Wriddhiman Saha and Rishabh Pant | Source: Twitter

Sourav Ganguly: Rishabh Pant Should Be Allowed To Play His Natural Game

In an interview with Bengali daily Anandabazar Patrika, Sourav Ganguly was asked whether Rishabh Pant should continue playing his free-flowing game.

“Pant is an unbelievable talent. He’s one of those players who can single-handedly change the course of a game. Pant is that kind of a game changer. He should be allowed to play his natural game. It is better to let such players play like themselves,” replied Sourav Ganguly, the former Indian skipper, a veteran of 113 Tests and 311 ODIs.

Rishabh Pant
Rishabh Pant | Twitter

The southpaw’s form with the bat has been one of the major reasons behind India reaching the WTC final. The wicketkeeper-batsman has amassed 662 runs in 11 Tests at an average of 41.37 in the WTC cycle.

Rishabh Pant’s favourite tour is obviously the Australian tour for he has amassed a staggering 624 runs in only 7 games averaging 62.4 with 1 hundred in 2018-19-his career-best of unbeaten 159 and 2 fifties which both came in the recent 2020-21 tour- scores of 97 which helped India draw the 3rd Sydney Test and 89* which helped India to win the 4th Brisbane Test and claim their second successive series win Down Under.

Sourav Ganguly Firmly Believes India Will Be Successful In England

Following the one-off Test against New Zealand namely the WTC Final, India will play a grueling five-Test series against England. India lost the five-Test series by a 4-1 margin the last time they toured England. However, former Indian skipper Sourav Ganguly is confident Virat Kohli will lead the team successfully in England this time around.

“In England the ball swings more and that’s why there have been some issues. You have to play a bit late. But let’s just forget what has happened in the past. This Indian team have performed brilliantly everywhere. Everyone is a top cricketer. I firmly believe this team will be successful in England,” said Sourav Ganguly.

Sourav Ganguly. (Photo Source: Twitter)
Sourav Ganguly. (Photo Source: Twitter)

India has lost their last two Tests against New Zealand in 2020, which was their only series defeat in the WTC cycle. Since then, Team India has been in terrific form, beating Australia away from home against all odds with several key players injured before scripting a comfortable home series win over , despite both times losing the opening Test by a heavy margin.

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For India Every Test Matters Irrespective Of Being A WTC Final Or Not, Says Virat Kohli

Virat Kohli has said the World Test Championship (WTC) final has a bit more value-added to it, but for his side, every Test matters and they play to win. India is playing the WTC Final against top-ranked Test side New Zealand. The first session on Day One was washed out due to rain and it is likely that there could be no play as weather forecasts suggest more rain at the Ageas Bowl. Virat Kohli Is Delighted That India Is In The WTC Final The Indian cricket team has already announced its playing 11 while New Zealand’s line-up will be

For India Every Test Matters Irrespective Of Being A WTC Final Or Not, Says Virat Kohli

Virat Kohli has said the World Test Championship (WTC) final has a bit more value-added to it, but for his side, every Test matters and they play to win.

India is playing the WTC Final against top-ranked Test side New Zealand. The first session on Day One was washed out due to rain and it is likely that there could be no play as weather forecasts suggest more rain at the Ageas Bowl.

Kane Williamson and Virat Kohli with ICC World Test Championship mace ahead of India vs New Zealand final at Southampton. Photo: @ICC

Virat Kohli Is Delighted That India Is In The WTC Final

The Indian cricket team has already announced its playing 11 while New Zealand’s line-up will be revealed after the toss. However, India captain Virat Kohli downplayed the importance of the WTC final and said the team was taking India vs New Zealand WTC final as one of the six Tests India is scheduled to play in the coming months.

“We are so delighted that we are in the final, we feel we have earned our place and belong where we are. We are happy some spectators are going to watch, which is justice for something of this magnitude because a big final without spectators would have been anticlimactic. It’s not the final frontier, it’s just another feather to add to our hat that we have created as a Test team,” said Virat Kohli.

“It’s a culmination of the toil over the last 4-5 years. We have identified these players and condensed it down, and for me as a captain and for us as a team, it’s not just good cricket over 6 months, but over the last 5 years,” Virat Kohli told broadcasting giant Star Sports.

Ishant Sharma (Photo by Dibyangshu SARKAR / AFP)
Ishant Sharma (Photo by Dibyangshu SARKAR / AFP)

“This is just a game that has a bit more value-added to it, but every Test has had the same value over the last few years which is why we’re ranked highly. Test cricket tests your grit and your resolve.

“You have to wake up and have the belief and determination to turn up and turn things around every day of the Test, how to come back from a tough situation and hang in there. It’s a metaphor for life,” Virat Kohli added.

India went for tried and tested players, preferring experienced Ishant Sharma over Mohammed Siraj in the Playing 11 for the WTC final vs New Zealand. On expected lines, the team picked two specialist spinners in Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin, who are also more than handy with the bat.

India playing 11 for WTC final: Shubman Gill, Rohit Sharma, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, Rishabh Pant, Ravindra Jadeja, R Ashwin

WTC Final’s First Session Washed Out

The first session of the World Test Championship final between India and New Zealand has been washed out due to the continuous drizzle at the Ageas Bowl on Friday.

“Update: Unfortunately there will be no play in the first session on Day 1 of the ICC World Test Championship final. #WTC21,” BCCI tweeted.

Earlier, India’s spin spearhead Ravichandran Ashwin shared the view of Ageas Bowl as it continued raining.

“The camera also has a raincoat,” wrote Ashwin on Instagram while sharing a video of the ground. His wife Prithi Narayanan also took to Twitter to share the video of the ground and wrote, “Pouring down #WTCFinal.”

WTC Final 1st Session Washed Out Image Courtesy- Twitter
WTC Final 1st Session Washed Out Image Courtesy- Twitter

Rain is forecasted on all five days of the game, that’s why ICC has added a reserve day on June 23 but in case of a no-result, the Test Championship will be shared.

“The Reserve Day has been scheduled to ensure five full days of play, and it will only be used if lost playing time cannot be recovered through the normal provisions of making up lost time each day.

“There will be no additional day’s play if a positive result is not achieved after five full days of play and the match will be declared a draw in such a scenario,” the ICC release on the playing conditions read. 

The Southampton weather has played spoilsport on Day 1 of the WTC final as the morning session has been washed out due to rain, informed BCCI. It has been raining in since yesterday and there is a forecast of rainfall during the course of the day as well. There is too much water on the field of play and on the covers.

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