"It was a great feeling to be included in the Indian Test squad,” the 20-year old told BCCI.tv. “I always wanted to be a part of the Indian Test squad and it was more like a dream come true for me. It was an amazing feeling, not only for me but also for my family and my coach Tarek Sinha sir, who helped me understand the game very early in my life. He has always wanted me to play Test cricket.”
Pant has made quite a reputation for himself in the limited overs formats and has come to be known for his big hitting ability. He does have a pretty good first class record though and believes the transition isn’t that hard to make.
"There isn't too much difference, it's mainly got more to do with shot selection,” he explained. “In red ball cricket, with the field placements, you can look around; take your time, because you have five days to play. Whereas in limited overs cricket you have limited number of balls to play and score. I have so far enjoyed my preparation with red ball cricket. The Duke ball swings a lot when you're here in England and initially when I started playing here with India A, I realized that the swing will come a lot into play in these conditions"
The 20-year-old was all praise for India A coach Rahul Dravid, who has seen Pant from close quarters for quite some time now and worked with him till recently in the India ‘A’ set-up.
"The one thing he always tells me is that you need to be patient about everything, be it on the field or off it,” Pant said. “Also, how I need to work harder on my game when it comes to red ball cricket since I'm a positive batsman, but at times you need to play to the situation. See the pace of the game and change your game accordingly.”
The southpaw was also all praise for MS Dhoni, saying he had guided him on every issue - from his IPL contract to improving his wicket-keeping skills.
"I used to ask him everything from my IPL contract to my wicket-keeping,” he said. “He's advised me on everything. He's always told me that when it comes to wicket-keeping, your hands and head is important, the body balance can come into play later, but the key is the hands and head coordination. I worked on what he told me and it has helped me a lot."
Pant also added that Indian dressing room is always positive and all the players support each other.
"Every time I come to the Indian dressing room, there is one thing that has always stood out for me,” he said. “It is the positivity in the dressing room. Everyone is supporting and backing each other, which is the most important factor about this Indian dressing room.”
India will start the five-match Test series against England on August 1.
First Published: July 24, 2018, 8:05 AM IST