Former India batsman, Sanjay Manjrekar picks Rishabh Pant’s hundred in the fourth Test against England as the ‘performance of the series’, as the left-hander bailed the team out from a nervy situation at 146/6.
Pant, who was on a high of a successful Australia tour and a 91 in the first Test, took his time to settle and soak in the pressure – England stood a decent chance of winning the game have they gained any first-innings lead – before launching an attack on the English bowlers.
His 101 off 188, and then Washington Sundar’s 96* batted England out of the game, as the spinner completed the job in the second innings. As Sanjay Manjrekar mentions, this was a second ‘great’ innings in two months from the 23-year-old.
“Has to be Rishabh Pant. And I remember saying at that time as well and maintaining that thought process that he’s played a second great Test innings in under two months, so I’ve got to acknowledge that as the performance of the series,” Sanjay Manjrekar told ESPNCricinfo.
R Ashwin the right choice for Man of the Series – Sanjay Manjrekar
R Ashwin was awarded the Man of the Series his 8th, despite some experts calling for the likes of Axar Patel or Rohit Sharma to be awarded. But, Manjrekar feels that the Tamil Nadu all-rounder thoroughly deserved it.
Ashwin was the leading wicket-taker of the series with 32 scalps at 14.72, and also struck a hundred on a difficult batting pitch in Chennai, which helped India level the series, and eventually win it.
“When you look at the wickets tally and no one had more wickets than R Ashwin. Just Ashwin’s presence, being the leader of the pack, the job becomes doubly difficult. Plus, his batting in the series that crucial time he got a hundred.
“There were some other contenders, some batsmen so this was more a bowler-friendly series but in the end, you’ve got to go with Ashwin,” the 55-year-old former cricketer asserted.
With the victory India finish at top of the World Test Championship points table and will compete in the final with New Zealand in June in England.