'A big confidence-booster': Rishabh Pant on pink-ball game century even though Saha could be preferred

Competing for his place in the XI with Wriddhiman Saha, Pant smashed a 73-ball century in the three-day game overcoming his form and fitness concerns

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'A big confidence-booster': Rishabh Pant on pink-ball game century even though Saha could be preferred
Rishabh Pant's 73-ball century might still not have worked if Test selection is concerned | BCCI


India's wicket-keeper batsman Rishabh Pant has termed his recent first-class century against Australia A, 'a big confidence-booster' that he needed before the start of the four-match Test series against Australia, next week.

The 23-year old batsman, after being not picked in the limited-over squads, had to make a statement in these two practice games to put his hand up for selection, who has been struggling with his fitness and form concerns.

His lack of form in the recent IPL season and the international white-ball games before that proved to be the decision-maker in his non-selection in the recent squads.

“When I went out to bat a lot of overs were left, so (Hanuma) Vihari and I wanted to build a good partnership. We wanted to bat as much as possible. I was just trying to give myself as much time as possible and slowly I started to develop confidence,” Pant told the BCCI’s official website.

“This hundred has been a big confidence-booster for me. It’s been a month, I am in Australia but I didn’t get the chance to play in the first practice match because of a stiff neck.

“In the first innings here I was unlucky as I felt the LBW decision was wrong from the umpire. In the second innings, my focus was to spend as much time as possible and the result is I got a good innings under my belt,” he said.

Saha might get nod ahead of Pant in Adelaide

The 73-ball century might have been a great booster for him but Saha may get a nod ahead of him for the day-night clash.

Saha's superior glovework and that too under the lights might just pip his younger teammate in the lingering selection dilemma.

Him being an absolute champion with gloves and also a safe batter might be preferred over Pant's blazing blade.

While Saha made a gritty 54 in the first practice game against a much stronger Australian attack comprising of James Pattinson and Michael Neser, when India were on the brink of a loss at 143/9.

On the other hand, Pant's century came when the team was in much stronger position against a comparatively less lethal bowling line-up at a time when part-timer Nic Maddinson and leg-spinner Mitchell Swepson were bowling.

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