Pant to replace Karthik for third Test?

Rishabh Pant was prominently involved in the wicket-keeping drills in India's first training session here on Thursday, while Dinesh Karthik remained in the back-ground. In fact, the latter was seen helping his younger colleague with catching practice, firing balls at him out of a bowling machine.

India coach Ravi Shastri with Rishabh Pant. The coach remained non-committal about Pant's inclusion in the third Test against England.   -  AP

With wicket-keeper Dinesh Karthik struggling for form with the bat, India could hand Rishabh Pant a Test debut at Trent Bridge.

Pant was prominently involved in the wicket-keeping drills in India's first training session here on Thursday, while Karthik remained in the back-ground. In fact, the latter was seen helping his younger colleague with catching practice, firing balls at him out of a bowling machine.

Pant also batted in the nets immediately after the top six had finished, suggesting that he was seriously being considered.

However, Ravi Shastri remained mum on the explosive wicket-keeper batsman's inclusion. "About Rishabh you will know 11am the day-after," he joked.

Read: In this unit, there is no negative bone, says Ravi Shastri

Meanwhile, Virat Kohli showed that he was steadily recovering after struggling with a sore back at Lord's. The Indian captain was evidently in pain on the final day of the second Test, hobbling between the wickets and grimacing every time he pushed forward in defence.

He did light training on Thursday, warming up with a gentle jog before stretching and working on his back with a foam-roller. Although he did not bat for long, Kohli was in no discomfort against throw-downs in the nets. He faced a number of short-pitched throws, and he handled them with ease, pulling or ducking out of the way. "Kohli is feeling much better. You saw him in the nets, he is moving much better and improving by the day," Shastri said.

Later, Kohli — sporting a woolly cap — also took catches in the slips, diving without issue. If Kohli was injured, there was more reason to fear him, felt the England coach, Trevor Bayliss. "It could mean he's more of a dangerous player. Through history there are a lot of players who have played with an injury and scored runs and taken wickets. I don't know if that focuses the mind more. But I have just seen him take some slips catches without any problems, so I'm sure he'll be playing. That won't change our approach to the way we play him," he said.

Jasprit Bumrah, who had been ruled out of the first two Tests with a thumb injury, is available for selection for the third. The Gujarat fast bowler, no longer encumbered by a plaster on the left hand, was among the first set of quicks to turn his arm over in nets.