Former BCCI chief selector Dilip Vengsarkar has bluntly stated that apart from the Indian skipper Virat Kohli, nobody else has stepped up in the Test series against England which India currently trail 2-0. The Kohli led Indian team were humbled by the hosts at Lord's as they were beaten by an innings and 159 runs, one of Kohli's heaviest defeats as captain.
Coming to the team selection, Vengsarkar has backed the inclusion of rookie wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant in India's playing XI for the third Test against England, starting at Trent Bridge, Nottingham on Saturday.
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The visitors find themselves in a must-win situation in the five-match Test rubber with all eyes on the non-performing batting order with the exception of skipper Virat Kohli.
Vengsarkar, who was the chairman of selectors when Kohli made his debut, has now called for the inclusion of the explosive southpaw in the playing XI.
"Rishabh Pant should get in. Apart from Kohli, nobody has shown that they could score runs here. Whether it's English or Australian conditions, you have to adapt quickly. You have to apply yourself and get runs," Vengsarkar was quoted as saying by BBC Radio.
"You have to give respect to the bowlers," he added.
If Pant gets his maiden Test cap in Nottingham, that means Dinesh Karthik will be shown the door. Karthik, with scores of 0, 20, 1 and 0 in the four innings so far, has failed to justify his inclusion in the side.
Earlier, former India skipper Sourav Ganguly had also backed the inclusion of Pant for the third Test.
The Indian cricket team find themselves in a pit after the fiasco as Lord's and would hope to bounce back in the series. However, if England win the Nottingham Test, the hosts would clinch the five-match series, with two more to spare.
(With IANS Inputs)