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Bizarre scene in cricket demolition

The star keeper’s apparent lack of concentration summed up India’s day of misery as England levelled the series at 1-1 with an innings-and 76-run defeat in the third Test at Headingley.India was rolled on the final day for 78, losing their last eight wickets for 63 runs in 19.3 overs before lunch, with Ollie Robinson taking a Test-best 5-65.Pant has struggled with the bat this series — and vision of him appearing to drift off into space at the same moment a delivery was about to be bold will not help his case for selection in the Fourth Test. Watch India’s Tour of England Live & On-Demand on Kayo. New to Kayo? Try 14-Days Free Now >The Australian’s senior cricket writer Peter Lalor wrote on Twitter he doubts the batsman at the other end would “appreciate” Pant’s level of attention.Other commentators pointed out Pant’s missing-in-action moment would have been more serious if he was required to judge a possible DRS referral or sneak through for a quick single.Pant didn’t last long after the strange moment and was dismissed by Robinson for one run having faced just seven balls. He was also dismissed by Robinson in the first innings for just two runs having faced nine deliveries.He was just one of several victims during Robinson’s red-hot spell in the first session of play. The 27-year-old seamer ended any slim hopes India had of joining the list of ‘miracle’ wins at Headingley with a fine spell of 4-25 in eight overs that accounted for Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Pant and Ishant Sharma.Pant’s form with the bat has some questioning his place in the team. In three tests he has scored just 87 runs, with 37 being his highest score.Kohli after the match failed to guarantee Pant will be there in the Fourth Test.“With one loss I cannot assess that or I cannot start analysing that as a captain,” Kohli said on Pant’s selection.He went on to say: “I can guarantee one thing, we will not be demoralised by this loss”.When England batted, captain Joe Root made 121 — his third century of the series and sixth in Tests this year — in a total of 432 on his Yorkshire home ground.India’s batsmen fought back, with Pujara making 91, before the tourists succumbed to the new ball on day four.Yet India had arrived at Headingley 1-0 up in the five-match series after enjoying the better of a rain-marred draw at Trent Bridge before a decisive 151-run win at Lord’s.And even though there is little time before the fourth Test at the Oval starts on Thursday, Kohli had no doubts about India’s ability to bounce back in London.“You can’t become a bad team overnight,” the star batsman told reporters. “If what happens in one game guarantees you the same thing in the next game, we should have smashed England again, which didn’t happen because it’s a new day,” added Kohli, whose 55 on Saturday was his highest score of this series.— with AFP

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