There is always a sense of exhilaration when you watch Rishabh Pant bat. The 23-year-old can pulverize any bowling attack on his day, and can do so with a sense of nonchalance. And, on Day 2 of the 4th Test between India and England at the Narendra Modi stadium, Pant single-handedly allowed India to obtain a stranglehold of the match.
The left-hander scored a marauding 101 to knock the wind out of the sails of the England side. Pant blasted 13 fours and 2 sixes in his innings, to help India finish the day with their scorecard reading 294/7. None of the England bowlers were spared by the Indian wicketkeeper. Pant rendered a brutal assault on the opposition with the willow, and it would not be an exaggeration to say that India have gained the upper hand on the second day largely due to Pant’s stunning innings. In fact, such was the confidence that Pant exuded out in the middle, that he even reverse swept pace bowling legend James Anderson for a boundary.
And, there were absolutely no jitters even when Pant entered the nervous nineties. Batting on 94, the left-hander swept Joe Root into the crowd to bring up his 3rd Test century. Washington Sundar gave excellent company to Pant. The Tamil Nadu left-hander scored a valuable 60*, and put on a scintillating partnership of 113 runs for the 7th wicket alongside Pant to swing the match in favor of the hosts.
Indian top-order falters at Ahmedabad
Caution was the order of the day in the first session. Both Cheteshwar Pujara and Rohit Sharma were content with rotating the strike and getting their eye in. But then, just when it seemed like Pujara would go on to frustrate the England bowlers, the right-hander was dismissed for 17. To a delivery from Jack Leach that went on with the arm, Pujara was struck in front of the stumps.
Virat Kohli’s run with the bat in the series turned from bad to worse after the Indian skipper edged Ben Stokes into the hands of Dan Lawrence behind the stumps, and departed for a duck. Ajinkya Rahane looked confident in his 45 ball stay in the middle. But yet again, he failed to kick on and make his start count. To a delivery from James Anderson that pitched on off stump, Rahane poked at it and edged the ball to the slip cordon.
Watchful is not a word that is often associated with Rohit Sharma, but if there is one word that would aptly describe his innings, watchful would suit perfectly. The ‘Hitman’ consumed as many as 144 deliveries, and contributed a vital 49 to the total. And, it required an absolute peach from Ben Stokes to end Rohit’s vigil in the middle. Stokes bowled a massive inswinger that completely surprised the Indian opener, and he was caught plumb in front of the stumps.
The next man to walk back to the pavilion was Ravichandran Ashwin. To a delivery from Jack Leach that pitched on leg stump, Ashwin tried to flick it away, but only managed to hit it straight to the fielder at mid-wicket. Pant’s swashbuckling inning came to an end when he pulled James Anderson to mid-wicket. The crowd rose as one to applaud a special innings from the willow of a very special player.
Needless to say, the day belonged to Rishabh Pant. The England bowlers were left scratching their head as Pant went absolutely ballistic on Day 2.
Here are the best tweets
How good is he? Unbelievable..what a knock under pressure…not the first time and won't be the last time..will be an all time great in all formats in the years to come.keep batting in this aggressive manner .thats why will be match winner and special..@bcci @RishabhPant17 pic.twitter.com/1cRmnSw5ZB
— Sourav Ganguly (@SGanguly99) March 5, 2021
— Kris Srikkanth (@KrisSrikkanth) March 5, 2021
Champion player. @RishabhPant17. Take a bow 🙌
— Jalaj Saxena (@jalajsaxena33) March 5, 2021
— Danny Morrison (@SteelyDan66) March 5, 2021
— Russel Arnold (@RusselArnold69) March 5, 2021
It’s heartening to see the youngsters take centre stage yet again for team India. Unbelievable belief and grit – and reading of the game. @RishabhPant17 is just wow and @Sundarwashi5 not letting go of any opportunity to shine. #INDvENG pic.twitter.com/VqZPjqJJBw
— VVS Laxman (@VVSLaxman281) March 5, 2021
— Danny Morrison (@SteelyDan66) March 5, 2021
— Suresh Raina🇮🇳 (@ImRaina) March 5, 2021
— Irfan Pathan (@IrfanPathan) March 5, 2021
— Krunal Pandya (@krunalpandya24) March 5, 2021
Third Test ton. First in India. 6 to reach his ton. It’s not about the number of tons he’ll score but the way he goes about scoring those runs. The match-winning…the game changing runs. 2021–the defining year in his career already. 🥳🤗🙌 #IndvEng
— Aakash Chopra (@cricketaakash) March 5, 2021
— Mohammad Shami (@MdShami11) March 5, 2021
That crazy hitting we saw from Pant after the second new ball was preceded by 3 and 1/2 hours of composed, defensive batting. Incredible!
— Sanjay Manjrekar (@sanjaymanjrekar) March 5, 2021
— Tom Moody (@TomMoodyCricket) March 5, 2021
— Andrew Flintoff (@flintoff11) March 5, 2021
— Virender Sehwag (@virendersehwag) March 5, 2021
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