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New Zealand vs India 2020: Virat Kohli backs Rishabh Pant, Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara after Christchurch loss

Pant, Rahane and Pujara have the backing of Kohli
Pant, Rahane and Pujara have the backing of Kohli
Aakash Arya
Modified 02 Mar 2020, 14:16 IST

Indian captain Virat Kohli stressed on the fact that no member of the current side took his place for granted in the team after encountering a barrage of questions over his team's 2-0 series whitewash at the hands of New Zealand.

Talking to reporters at the post-match press conference, Kohli also stated the importance of giving chances to youngsters, like Rishabh Pant, at the right time.

He also revealed how impressed he was with Pant, and the amount of hard work being put in behind the scenes by the young wicket-keeper batsman.

“We have given a lot of chances to Rishabh, you need to figure out when is the right time to give someone a chance. I don’t see anyone taking their place for granted in this team, no one here has come in thinking that I am going to play every game. 
“Rishabh has worked very hard behind the scenes, so we thought of giving him a chance in this series. We thought he will come good in this series, but as a collective unit, we did not show a good batting performance.”
Rishabh Pant failed in both the Test matches with the bat
Rishabh Pant failed in both the Test matches with the bat

Kohli stressed on having a solid middle-order in Test cricket and backed experienced campaigners like Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara after tackling failures in the two-Test series against the Blackcaps.

He explained that the team management was in continuous search for having impactful players in the middle-order and Rahane was one of those players.

“Firstly, Rahane is one of those players who has been solid for us in Test cricket. It is about impact performances and he has played some crucial knocks. You also have to figure out as to how many guys average more than 40 in your team. Few games here and there if you don’t score runs, doesn’t mean you are a bad player. There are no issues there.”

Continuing from what he stated about Rahane, Kohli praised the toughness brought into the team by Pujara, especially on foreign tours.

He cited the example of the last Australia tour where India walked away as winners, thanks to some impeccable performances from Pujara.

“In the Australia series, Pujara was the standout player. You cannot single out anyone. We have an aim of scoring big runs, it can happen with everyone scoring 50 or 60 or with one guy scoring 150 as Pujara did in Australia. In our team, we work as a collective unit.”
Published 02 Mar 2020, 14:16 IST
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