Bengaluru: India’s legendary wicket-keeper Syed Kirmani has cautioned captain Virat Kohli and the team management against playing young stumper Rishabh Pant in the ongoing England Test series.

Indian batsmen have struggled in the series so far against the moving ball. Apart from Kohli, no other Indian batsman clicked at Edgbaston and at Lord's. It was a collective failure. As a result, the visitors find themselves 0-2 down in the five-match rubber and with an uphill task to save the series.

On Sunday, Kohli and Co were handed an innings-and-159-run thrashing at Lord’s after the much-vaunted batting line-up crumbled for 107 and 130.

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With the side’s No 1 wicket-keeper Wriddhiman Saha out of the England trip due to injury, Dinesh Karthik and Rishabh Pant were picked. However, Karthik has failed miserably with the bat, scoring 0, 20, 1 and 0 in the four innings so far.

Former cricketers and fans have called for the 33-year-old Karthik to be replaced by Pant, 20. But Kirmani is against it.

“No, no (he shouldn’t be played). You will be ending his (Pant's) career. If you give a youngster like Rishabh Pant a chance in Test cricket (right away), you will be jeopardising his cricket future. He is yet to mature and can’t be played in the longer version. And everybody is not a Sachin Tendulkar to succeed in Test cricket at very young age,” 68-year-old Kirmani told MyNation when asked about Pant’s inclusion for the third Test starting in Nottingham on August 18.

Kirmani, who played 88 Tests for India, cited the example of Parthiv Patel, who was handed a Test cap at the age of 17 years.

“You have a classic example in Parthiv Patel. They inducted him into Test cricket at 17 and later left him in the wilderness. Rishabh Pant has to be groomed. Test cricket is a different ball game and that too it is in England now. I am sure that players who are on the bench would not like to play. Nobody would like to get exposed. The team is in a bad shape at the moment. But I am confident of the players and they can bounce back,” the 1983 World Cup winner said.

Delhi’s Pant is one of the exciting young prospects in Indian cricket. So far he has played four Twenty20 Internationals and caught the eye of the selectors with his aggressive batting in the limited-overs formats.

In 2016, Rishabh struck the fastest first-clas hundred by an Indian, off 48 balls and also smashed a triple hundred (308) in Ranji Trophy. At the Under-19 World Cup same year, he hit the fastest fifty, off 18 balls, at U-19 international level.