“…we have given him (Pant) a lot of chances in the home season as well starting from Australia. Then he was not playing for a bit. In turn he really worked hard on himself,” Kohli came to Pant’s defence after the series here.
“You need to figure out when is the right time to give someone else a chance. If you push people too early, they can lose confidence,” he added.
“…collectively, we didn’t perform. I don’t believe in singling him out. We take the hit together as a group whether it’s the batting group or as a team.”
When asked if he believes Pant has taken his place in the side for granted, Kohli made it clear that the culture of this team doesn’t encourage anyone to think along those lines.
“I don’t see anyone taking his place for granted in this team. That’s the culture we have set. People are told to take responsibilities and work hard. Whether it happens or not is a different thing. Then you can have a conversation with the players,” he said.
“But no one has come here thinking I am going to play every game or I am indispensable,” he added in no uncertain terms.
Kohli, just like head coach Ravi Shastri, made it clear that Pant can make a difference in overseas conditions and he won’t like to deviate during future tours.
“The time that he didn’t play, he really worked hard on his game. So we thought this is the right time because of his game and the way he plays because he can make a difference lower down the order.
“That was our planning behind it. We can’t really fluctuate when it comes to what we planned,” he added.