London: Dilip Vengsarkar, the former India batsman and selector, has backed Rishabh Pant to make his Test debut in the third Test at Trent Bridge. Even Ravi Shastri has asked him to be on a stand-by mode as he can be given a test cap here in England.
India are 2-0 behind in the five-match series. While captain Virat Kohli propped up their batting in the first Test, which was a closely fought affair, they suffered twin collapses at Lord's to fall to an innings defeat.
With the Indian top order out of form and out of sorts against the moving ball, and Kohli
struggling with a back injury, there are calls to shake up the line-up ahead of the Nottingham
Test starting on August 18, an ICC report on Thursday said.
Vengsarkar, who in his time had reportedly fought to give Kohli his early break into the
side, has called for the inclusion of Pant, an "explosive batsman" and wicket-keeper. "Rishabh Pant should get in," he told BBC Radio. "Apart from Kohli, nobody has shown
that they could score runs here."
India got the worst of the batting conditions at Lord's, but the former batsman, who has the unique distinction of making three centuries on three back-to-back visits to Lord's between 1979 and 1986, insisted the batsmen can do better.
"Whether it's English or Australian conditions, you have to adapt quickly. You have to
apply yourself and get runs," he said."You have to give respect to the bowlers," Vengsarkar said.
However, Vengsarkar, who averages 42.13 from 116 Tests, did not believe the results
on this tour would affect India's prospects in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019, also in
England and Wales.
Hoping the side would replicate the success of the 1983 edition in England, which he
was part of, he said, "It's the one-day game, and India are good in the one-day game.
They've done well in the past. English conditions will suit our spinners as well as medium