Rishabh Pant may be the flavour this domestic cricket season but chief coach Anil Kumble feels that Parthiv Patel's experience as well as better "keeping skills" have enabled him to make a comeback into Indian Test side after eight long years.
"Parthiv has been really consistent both with his keeping as well as his batting. That's why Parthiv was chosen. Rishabh has certainly shown the exuberance a young cricketer can bring in. He has shown a lot of batting skills. He has obviously got a lot of runs in domestic cricket. But Parthiv was
chosen for his keeping skills and his experience," Kumble said on Thursday, giving a peek into his thought process on Patel's selection.
The coach also made it clear that Wriddhiman Saha, who is a few notches above his peers in terms of glovework, still remains the first-choice keeper of the Test team which may well mean that Mohali will be only chance for Parthiv to prove himself.
"I think it's unfortunate that Saha is missing out in this Test match. He suffered a strain on the final day of the Test match. We wanted him to play. He was obviously in the starting the line-up but Wednesday's scans showed there was a little bit of tendonitis. That's why it was better that we gave him a break from this Test match," Kumble briefed about the No, 1 keeper's injury.
Lavishing praise on Pant's youthful exuberance, Kumble made it clear as to why Dinesh Karthik, who has had a far better season with the willow compared to the Gujarat stumper, failed to make the cut. The reason is he is not keeping wickets for his state side Tamil Nadu.
It was learnt that Karthik has a hand injury which prompted him to purely play as a batsman. N Jagadeesan has been keeping wickets for Tamil Nadu.
Having travelled to Mohali from Hubbali in Karnataka, where Gujarat were playing Mumbai, Parthiv expectedly spent more time than others at the optional net session which was attended by the likes of skipper Virat Kohli, Ravichandran Ashwin and Mohammed Shami.
He did separate routines to hone his glovework under the watchful eyes of fielding coach R Sridhar.
Knowing fully well that he will have to forego his place the moment Saha gets fit, Parthiv will go for broke as this could well be his last chance for international redemption.
Kumble rubbishes ball tampering allegations against Kohli
India coach Anil Kumble, on Thursday, categorically dismissed allegations of ball tampering levelled against skipper Virat Kohli by the British media, stating that he does not believe in "giving wind to such stories".
A British tabloid published footages of Kohli applying saliva to the ball during the first Test against England at Rajkot. However, there were no complains made by the visiting team or the match referee to the ICC within a window of five days, which is a must as per world cricket's governing body's clause. The ICC has already said that it will not make any investigations as per rules.
"First of all, I don't want to react to any report that is there in the media. As far as I am concerned, neither the umpire nor the match referee ever came to us talking about it. We would certainly not like to give too much wind to the story," Kumble told mediapersons on Thursday clarifying his and the team's stand in the matter. The legendary spinner said that he was not at all perturbed by what the British media has reported.
But in a veiled dig, Kumble also drew comparisons with the Faf du Plessis. "South Africa has played exceptional cricket to beat Australia 2-0 and for Faf du Plessis, to be told that ball tampering, it is very silly. It's making a mountain out of a molehill."