The hero of the heist at the Gabba in Australia a couple of months ago, once again finished things off in sublime fashion against England in Ahmedabad – Rishabh Pant was awarded the Man of the Match in the fourth and last Test of the series for his entertaining and crucial hundred.
Rishabh Pant expressed his satisfaction at being able to bail out the team from a critical position in the first innings. The left-hander walked into bat at the score of 80/4, which then slipped to 146/6 as it gave England a decent chance to comeback in the game after their sub-par first innings total of 205.
However, it was not to happen as Pant and Washington Sundar put India in a commanding position with a 113-run stand – later accentuated by Sundar’s 96*. Pant brought up his third Test century, after recording his second two years ago; it was also his first ton in India.
If I get a chance, would reverse-flick a fast bowler again: Rishabh Pant
Apart from his batting, the 23-year-old has impressed everyone with the marked improvement in his wicket-keeping, especially to the spinners on turning tracks, which was a major concern ahead of the series. However, with 8 catches in all and 5 stumpings he has quashed those concerns significantly.
“(on wicket-keeping) I think the drills have helped, and my confidence has helped, transferring it from my batting to my keeping,” Rishabh Pant said in the post-match press conference.
Pant ends as the third-highest scorer in the series with 270 runs at an average of 54 and a strike rate of 84. While his innings in Ahmedabad was captivating throughout, his reverse-sweep off James Anderson, bowling with a new ball, while batting on 89, encapsulates his audacious and fearless style of playing – and he’d do it again.
“This was a very important innings, especially with the team under pressure. We were in a tough situation at 146-6, and there’s nothing better than performing when the team needs you the most. If I get the chance to reverse-flick a fast bowler again, I definitely would,” Pant added.
With a win by an innings and 25 runs in the last Test, India takes another home Test series – they have been undefeated at home since 2013 – and also book their place in the final of the World Test Championship against Kane Williamson’s New Zealand at Lord’s in June.