Following India's comprehensive win over England at Chepauk, skipper Virat Kohli has heaped praise on Rishabh Pant's glovework and fitness levels. England were bundled out for 164 on the fourth day as India secured a 317-run win at the MA Chidambaram Stadium to level the four-Test series 1-1.
On a rank turner wicket, Pant scored a half-century in the first innings and also plucked two catches. He followed it with two stumpings in the second innings as India came back sharply after suffering a defeat in the series opener at the same venue.
Pant, often criticised over his wicketkeeping, was backed by Kohli for working hard and shedding extra weight. The Indian skipper also highlighted the value which Pant brings to the team. In the recently-concluded Australia tour, Pant had slammed a match-winning 89* in the fourth and final Test to help India breach the Gabba fortress and clinch the Border-Gavaskar series 2-1.
"Rishabh Pant has really worked hard in Australia when he moves with the gloves you can see the difference in his reactions. He has shed a lot of weight and has worked hard on himself. It is showing, the way he kept with so much turn and bounce, credit to him. We want him to keep improving as a keeper because we know the value he brings to the team," said Kohli.
It is a very, very special moment for Axar. He would've played the first game as well if he didn't have that niggle. He was keen to step on, and if you get that kind of pitch, he was all smiles and couldn't wait to get the ball in his hands. Hope he builds on from here, he has an important couple of games ahead," he added.
The series now moves to Ahmedabad where the third Day-Night Test will be played from February 24. The fourth Test will also be played at this venue.