Australian pacer and the No.1 ranked fast bowler in the world in Test match cricket, Pat Cummins, has heaped high praise on Rishabh Pant following his match-winning heist Down Under last month.
Having been overlooked by the team-management in the first Test of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy at the Adelaide Oval, Rishabh Pant made a resounding comeback in the next three Test matches as he played back-to-back game-changing knocks in the fourth innings in Sydney and Brisbane.
With India battling to save the Test match in Sydney, Rishabh Pant launched a stunning counterattack on the Australian bowling-unit as he smashed a whirlwind 97 off 118 balls to even give India a sniff of overhauling the improbable target.
Unfortunately, he got out on the score of 97 and with the likes of Ravindra Jadeja, Hanuma Vihari and Ravichandran Ashwin injured, India decided to shut shop and play for a draw.
A week later, Rishabh Pant was at it again. India was chasing yet another stiff total on the fifth day of the series-decider at the Gabba. Cheteshwar Pujara and Shubman Gill had provided the visitors with an ideal launchpad and this time Pant ensured that he not only made full use of the platform but also guide his team to a memorable win in Australia’s fortress. Pant smashed a brilliantly calculated 89* and fittingly scored the winning runs
Pat Cummins, who was the pick of the bowlers across both the bowling groups in the Test series, has termed the 23-year-old Rishabh Pant as a ‘game-changer’, a class player who knows exactly when to attack.
“It is kind of a flip of the coin, because while Pujara was there, the game was not moving too quickly, but you know once Rishabh walks in, it is going to start moving quickly either way. It is one of those exciting times, I find, where you hope it works in your favour, but if it does not, it is going to be a bit of fun for the next hour or so, either way. He is a class player, he takes the game on and to the outside, it might look like it is quite slapdash, but he knows his game really well, he knows when to attack and what his scoring areas are, so before the next series, we will need to spend a bit of time on that,” Pat Cummins told ESPNcricinfo’s ‘The Cricket Monthly’.
Rishabh Pant eventually finished as India’s leading run-scorer in the Test series despite batting in just 5 innings and he has carried his rich vein of form in the ongoing series against England. The swashbuckler smashed a whirlwind 91 off 88 balls in the first innings in Chennai, and India will be hoping that he continues with his exploits in the upcoming matches.