The swashbuckling Rishabh Pant has revealed he had to change his stance after being told by the umpire as batting outside the crease to negate swing formed footmarks in the pitch’s danger area during India’s forgettable opening day at Headingley.
The first day of the third Test between England and India here ended with the hosts on top after their openers capitalised on an excellent bowling display.
“Because I was standing outside the crease and my front-foot was coming into the danger area, so he (the umpire) told me that you can’t stand there,” Pant said during the virtual post-day press conference on Wednesday.
The southpaw added, “So, I have (had) to change my stance, but as a cricketer I don’t have to think too much about that, because it’s everyone who is going to do that, umpires are going to say the same thing. I didn’t do that the next ball and you move on.”
Having won the toss and chosen to bat, India were bowled out for just 78 after an excellent opening spell from James Anderson sparked a collapse.
The hosts were 118 for no loss when stumps were drawn.
Pant also backed his skipper Virat Kohli’s decision to bat first while admitting that the wicket was “soft” in the morning.
“It’s part and parcel of the game. Every day the batting unit is giving hundred per cent, but sometimes, it doesn’t go well,” Pant said about the disastrous outing with the bat, which came just nine months after the 36 all out in Adelaide.
“In the morning, the wicket was slightly on the softer side and they bowled in good areas. We could have applied ourselves better. We can learn from it and only move on. That’s all we can do as cricketers. You learn from your mistakes and improve.”
He also said that Kohli’s decision to bat first, despite the wicket being damp, was a collective call.
“I don’t think so,” he replied when asked if batting first was a tricky move.
“Whatever decision we take, we take as a team. So, once we have decided we are going to bat first, we are going to back our decision and move on. Yes, we could have applied much better but we can’t keep on thinking too much about the toss.”
Of late, Pant has been pressed into action early with the top-order consistently failing to deliver but the youngster sees that as an opportunity and not something that puts him under pressure.
“As a cricketer, I don’t think in that manner. Whatever be the situation, you think about the team first and what you can do in that situation,” he said.
“If the top-order collapses and you get an opportunity, I see it as an opportunity that if you can bail the team out of that situation, you are going to do wonders in your life as a cricketer,” he said.
“I am not thinking too much about pressure as at the end of the day, everyone is thinking good for the team. So, we need to take everything on our chin rather than thinking about pressure.”
Pant, who was dismissed on two after edging to wicket-keeper Jos Buttler off pacer Ollie Robinson, stressed that every member thinks about the team.
Asked whether he was comfortable batting at number six in England, Pant responded in the positive.
“See, as a cricketer, there are two options — one you can think of the team, second you can think about your personal performance, so the culture we have created here is that everyone has to think about the team, no matter what’s the personal performances.
“Personal, individual things matter but we don’t focus on that too much as the Indian cricket team,” the aggressive left-handed wicketkeeper-batsman signed off.