Indian wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant is one of the most fearless young batsman going around in the current era. Pant, on Sunday, once again proved that to the hilt as he launched a stunning assault on English bowlers.
India were up against it when Pant joined Cheteshwar Pujara in the middle. They had just lost the likes of Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane to Dom Bess in successive overs. With a massive rough outside the left-hander’s off-stump to exploit for Jack Leach, Pant made a tactical ploy of taking the left-arm orthodox downtown and negating his threat.
And, the southpaw went on to smash Leach for four sixes and two boundaries in his first five overs as he rocketed his way to a 40-ball 50.
Rishabh Pant continued to attack Leach but was pretty measured in his approach against the rest of the England bowlers, and even the stroke that got him out- lofted extra-cover drive- off Dom Bess was a percentage stroke, feels former Indian batsman VVS Laxman.
A lot of people started criticizing Pant for his attacking ploy but Laxman termed the innings as a mixture of caution and aggression.
“I think that is the change we saw in Rishabh Pant’s batting in the 4th innings of the Brisbane Test. He played a match-winning knock. He has become more mature, he is aware of his shortcomings. He was also aware of the game plan of the opposition bowler. He knows which line to attack and which line to play defensively. Even though he got out on 91, that shot was a high-percentage shot. Even though the fielders are back, Pant backs his ability and strength,” VVS Laxman said on Star Sports after day 03.
Laxman further added that Rishabh Pant’s approach helps in changing the momentum of the game as all the close-in fielders are forces to move to the boundary.
He also reckoned that this in turn helps the likes of Cheteshwar Pujara, who too scored a lot of boundaries during his knock. The former Indian cricketer said that the team management is backing the 23-year-old’s approach.
“One good thing with Pant’s approach is that the momentum of the game changes, all close-in fielders around the bat moved to catching position or on the boundary line. That’s the reason why Pujara got benefitted and we got a lot more boundaries. That’s an approach which Rishabh Pant has taken and we have to back it. I am sure the team management is backing his approach, now and then he can play a loose shot and get out but overall, I thought it was a mature innings. It was an innings mixed with caution and aggression,” he added.