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Rishabh Pant has been handled well by India. Ollie Pope and Dom Bess not so much by England

The contrast tells you why the series turned out the way it did

Ian Chappell
Ian Chappell
Rishabh Pant is an attacking batsman always looking to score, but also confident in his defence  •  Saikat Das/BCCI

Rishabh Pant is an attacking batsman always looking to score, but also confident in his defence  •  Saikat Das/BCCI

One of the big differences between the approach of the Indian and English cricketers is easily identified in Rishabh Pant's demeanour in the recent Test series compared with that of Ollie Pope and Dom Bess.
The two young Englishmen became more tentative as the series progressed. Pope was keen to use his feet, but as his back foot continually craved the safety of the crease, it was obvious he was worried about being left stranded by the spinners.
Bess appeared to be deflated by his omission from the Test team. With his confidence severely diminished, he bowled in the final Test, hoping that the ball would land on a good length rather than being confident of its destination.
Both England players were in need of a psychological boost rather than, in Bess' case, a discussion about field placings.
Meanwhile, Pant was scared of… well, nothing actually. The chirpy Indian keeper, armed with a supremely confident disposition, played each innings balancing aggression with appropriate caution. His approach of "see the ball and hit it" is a simple one but it's fortified by the common-sense approach of always looking for opportunities to score.
In most cases this sums up the difference between India and England's batting. The home side was constantly thinking about ways to score, while the visitors were preoccupied with survival. There are a number of reasons for this vast difference.
Firstly, there's their upbringing. English players are conditioned to be conservative. In 1968, I was asked by a county player why I left my crease to the spinners. After hearing my many reasons, he disagreed: "But you're giving yourself one more way of getting out."
In modern India the players are more confident and aggressive. This attitude is boosted further on reaching the international arena by the positive encouragement of the leadership group of Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane and Ravi Shastri.
Then there's the IPL. It has resulted in Indian players being exposed to more international thinking and training, which has had a positive effect on both cricketers and coaches.
And finally, selection plays a part. Contrast England's treatment of Bess and Jonny Bairstow with the encouragement Pant received.
After acclimatising in Sri Lanka with a reasonably successful series, Bairstow was sent home to rest, where he endured the rain and snow for a month. He was then expected to reappear in the heat of India and be a saviour at No. 3. Is it any wonder he finished the series with more ducks than an English aristocrat in hunting season?
In Bess' case, he built up a good head of steam with 17 wickets in three Tests in Sri Lanka and India. His Indian victims included Kohli, Rahane, Cheteshwar Pujara and Pant in the same innings and yet he was banished from a winning team.
He was replaced by Moeen Ali, who provided no more control - the excuse used to omit Bess. The young offspinner was then expected to pick up the pieces in the final Test, after Ali left the tour. If England think ahead to Ashes selection, Bess is a better bet than Ali, who has already been overwhelmed by the Australians.
Contrast that with Pant's treatment. He was read the riot act in Australia when he turned up overweight. He then "worked his backside off", according to the coach, and was reinstated in the team after the Indian debacle at Adelaide Oval.
What followed has been a revelation. Pant has produced three innings that changed the course of a Test with mature counterattacking when the team was in trouble. Most players don't contribute that many in a career.
Not content with just batting heroics, Pant has also evolved as a keeper when standing up to the spinners, going from fumbling to fabulous in the space of a few weeks.
Pant is a popular player in the Indian side and his spirit epitomises the team's confident, attacking approach to the game. England have players who could provide a similar stimulus to their team. What they lack is a conducive environment.

Former Australia captain Ian Chappell is a columnist