Rishabh Pant led Team India’s spirited comeback from 98/5 with a blistering hundred on the first day of the rescheduled 5th Test at Edgbaston. Pant showed a lot of daredevilry in his knock and played a lot of unorthodox shots to notch up his century off just 89 balls, the fastest by an Indian wicketkeeper batter. Pant crossed many milestones with one of the best counter-attacking knocks ever in a Test match on foreign soil.
Former India opening batter Aakash Chopra praised Pant for his knock, calling him India’s best-ever wicketkeeper-batter. Former Pakistan captain Rashid Latif went a step ahead to call the Indian batter the Brian Lara of wicketkeepers. Former fielding coach Sridhar revealed how former head coach Ravi Shastri’s advice has helped Pant earlier on in his Test career. ‘When Rishabh Pant needed a rap on his knuckles early in his career…he was getting out in Test cricket after getting 30-40s. I remember Ravi (Shastri) went and spoke to him ‘look you can do all is fine but you need to be a little patient here. There are six fielders out on the boundary line, why do you need to clear them. Just take singles and let them come up’, Sridhar said.
To score at five-run-an-over against an English attack that boasts of James Anderson, Stuart Broad and Matthew Potts in Edgbaston under cloudy skies was amazing, to say the least. That innings transformed the match and made sure that India’s hopes in the World Test Championship (WTC) stayed alive. Pant, unlike what many believe, is a thinking cricketer. He is not all slam bang. There is always a method to his madness.