While only time will tell how Rishabh Pant performs with the bat in the ongoing Boxing Day Test against Australia at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, the wicketkeeper-batsman has already made his mark from behind the stumps. The highly-rated youngster was not a part of India’s playing eleven for the first Test in Adelaide as the team-management preferred Wriddhiman Saha.
But following Saha’s poor show with the bat in both the innings and the heavy 8-wicket loss, India recalled Rishabh Pant who had scored a 73-ball ton in the second tour game. And it did not take Rishabh Pant long to make his presence felt after Australia won the toss and decided to bat first at the iconic MCG.
The 23-year old brilliantly told Ravichandran Ashwin what to bowl to Matthew Wade and it eventually ended in the latter’s dismissal. The incident took place in the 13th over of the innings when Ashwin was just in his second over. Wade tried to unsettle the off-spinner by taking the attack to him. On the fourth ball of the over, Wade swept the India spin spearhead for a four.
This is when Rishabh Pant chipped in with his advice and it was picked up by the stump mic. Before the fifth ball of the over, Rishabh Pant was heard saying: “Andar hi rakhna, ye maarega” which roughly translates to ‘keep it at the stumps, he will hit’. And Wade proved Rishabh Pant right as he went for a big shot on the following delivery.
The Australia opener danced down the track for a big hoick but Ashwin kept the ball at the stumps and the southpaw could only manage to miscue his shot towards leg side where Ravindra Jadeja took a stunning catch to dismiss him.
Here is a clip showing Rishabh Pant’s advice for Ashwin:
— Varchie (@Naniricci45) December 26, 2020