Former Indian pace bowler Zaheer Khan said Rishabh Pant will bat aggressively against England on the fourth day of the rescheduled fifth Test at Edgbaston in Birmingham.
The visitors ended the third day walking with a 257-run lead in the second innings on the back of Cheteshwar Pujara’s calm and composed knock (50*) and Pant (30*) extended his support to the veteran in their 50-run unbeaten partnership.
Pant had a very different demeanour of batting in the second innings after India lost three wickets. It was a different Pant from what England saw in the first innings with 146 of 111 balls, including 20 fours and four sixes, at a strike rate of 131.
I am sure Rishabh Pant will bat a little more aggressively on Day 4: Zaheer Khan
Pant, who smashed four boundaries in 46 balls in the second innings so far, just wanted to assure that India doesn’t lose any wickets further and finishes on a good note.
“I am sure Pant will bat a little more aggressively (on Day 4). On Sunday, he reined himself in since stumps were approaching and India wanted to end the day on a positive note. He did play some good flick shots when the ball was in his arc,” Zaheer said on Cricbuzz.
“India will not be thinking about how much time is left in the Test as of now. It will just be about batting normally, adding runs and playing positively, just as they have been doing in the Test,” he further added.
The last session of play on Day 3 was a shared one: Zaheer Khan
India started their second innings with Shubman Gill’s dismissal to James Anderson on the third ball. Hanuma Vihari held on the show with Pujara till the tea break. Stuart Broad got the better of Vihari just after the tea break with Kohli coming to the crease.
Kohli played a couple of great cover drives off Broad’s bowling before sending one past mid-off against Anderson. Kohli was stunned by an extra bounced delivery by England skipper Ben Stokes that popped the batter’s gloves with Joe Root, positioned at first slip, was quick enough to complete the spilt catch by Sam Billings.
“According to me, the last session of play on Day 3 was a shared one. I really liked Ben Stokes’ spell. (James) Anderson also bowled really well, as did (Stuart) Broad and (Matthew) Potts. Runs were scored and too many wickets did not fall. But it was a really exciting session of Test cricket. There was some good batting and bowling as well,” Zaheer said.
India are leading 2-1 in the five-match Tests and all they need is a draw in Birmingham to seal their first Test series triumph in England since 2007.