With a slog sweep which went for a six over the mid-wicket boundary, off the bowling of Joe Root, India’s flamboyant batsman — Rishabh Pant notched up his third Test hundred and the first one at home.
The southpaw recorded his first two hundreds in his debut Test series in England in 2018 and Australia in 2019. But the three-figure mark tantalized him later when he was dimissed plenty of times in the nineties.
On Friday, the team was in a precarious position at 146/6, in reply to England’s 205 in Ahmedabad. Rishabh Pant joined hands with another youngster, Washington Sundar, and both not only pulled India out of the trouble but put the side back in the driver’s seat with a 113-run stand.
Rishabh Pant brings up his hundred with a maximum
Rishabh Pant came in to bat at 80/4 when the team was reeling from the blows of the top-order batsman. He builds small but significant partnerships with Rohit Sharma and then R Ashwin.
The left-hander showed immense maturity as he curbed his attacking instincts; his half-century came in 82 balls – though quicker than the normally expected Test run-rate.
However, with assurance in Sundar at the other end, he then decided to take the attack on the English bowlers, especially as he reached closer to the three-figure landmark.
Forget about the spinners, Pant didn’t even spare James Anderson, who came in with the new ball in hand, smashing the pacer first with a down-the-track hit, then through the covers, and then with an astonishing shot over the slips!
Driven by the momentum and the adrenaline, the 23-year-old was not going to eschew anymore despite being close to the hundred; on 94, he slogged Joe Root, who had taken a five-for not long ago, over cow corner to bring up his first ton in India. Helmet out, arms aloft, the crowd on its feet, skipper Virat Kohli running down the stairs to cheer. This summed up Pant’s ton in style at Ahmedabad’s Narendra Modi Stadium.
The very next over, he did get out to Anderson but had put India firmly in a winning position. At stumps on Day 2, the hosts lead by a healthy margin of 89 runs with still 3 wickets in hand.
Watch: Rishabh Pant’s six to reach his century: