England captain Joe Root has doffed his hat off to Indian swashbuckling wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant for his game-changing and series-defining knock of 101 in India’s first innings of the fourth Test in Ahmedabad.
During the 4th Test, Rishabh Pant once again displayed that he is a clutch player in tough situations as he smoked a brilliant hundred- his first on Indian soil- during the game-changing 7th wicket partnership with Washington Sundar.
It was an innings of two contrasting halves by Rishabh Pant; one that once again showcased his evolution as a batsman. The 23-year-old scored his first 50 runs in 82 balls but once India breached England’s first innings total of 205, the southpaw pulled off his moniker and took the English attack by the scruff off its neck.
Pant played plenty of brilliant strokes but none could match the reverse-flick that he hit off James Anderson against the new ball. Everyone was gobsmacked by Pant’s audacity including Joe Root.
Root said that it takes incredible skill and courage to hit a fast bowler who had taken more than 900 international wickets the way Rishabh Pant did.
”He (Rishabh) is such a difficult player to keep quiet. We came across some brilliant batting at that stage. So I do think that their experience in these conditions probably just outplayed us and was the difference and a big difference in fact in this series,” Joe Root said.
“The way he bats, he makes it difficult for bowlers to build pressure on him. Sometimes he pulls a reverse sweep to a guy, who has 600 Test wickets. So it quite a skill and a brave move to do and it came off for him and got themselves (India) to a very good position on that wicket,” said Root.
‘It was a frustrating way to finish the game’- Joe Root
Rishabh Pant and Washington Sundar’s partnership knocked the stuffing out of England, who eventually went down by an innings and 25 runs after their batting once again capitulated against India’s spinners.
Root admitted that it was frustrating to lose in the manner like they did. He felt that England had their moments in the series but they failed to capitalize on them.
The English captain also lauded Team India for seizing the initiative on every given opportunity, admitting that they are by far the better side in their own conditions.
“It was a frustrating way to finish the game. We were very much in the hunt and credit to Washington and Rishabh for that outstanding partnership made it very difficult for us. There have been times we had a chance to wrestle the game in our favour, to get on top, just didn’t manage to do it,” admitted Joe Root.
”India played those important, key moments better than us in these last three games and credit for being able to do that better than we do. So, it has been disappointing, it has been frustrating to finish the series on a note that we have but we are going to keep looking forward as a team,” said Root.