Sanjay Manjrekar- Mumbai Indians
Sanjay Manjrekar (Image Credit: Twitter)

India will play England in the fifth Test, which has been rescheduled for July 1, in Birmingham. The match will determine the outcome of the series, which was put on hold last year because of an epidemic of COVID-19 in the Indian camp. The Indian cricket team is up 2-1 in the series, and it only needs a draw to win the fourth Test series it has ever won in England.

India had previously won three-Test series there in 1971, 1986, and 2007. This time, it will be up to the team led by Rohit Sharma to win another historic series.

Rishabh Pant, Nathan Lyon
Rishabh Pant, (Photo: Twitter)

If England’s Got Ben Stokes, India’s Got Rishabh Pant: Sanjay Manjrekar

In an exclusive interview with NDTV before the India-England Test, veteran Indian cricketer Sanjay Manjrekar offered his opinion on the player who could be the “X-factor” for India against England.

Rishabh Pant! I know Rohit Sharma is there at the top, there’s Virat Kohli and other great batters. Pujara’s defiance is there, there’s some good bowling in Shami and Bumrah. They will be game changes with the ball. But in his very short career test career Rishabh Pant has notched up three great Test innings and in different conditions, different oppositions. So you’re like Ben Stokes, if you’ve got to look at one player from India, you almost won India game against South Africa, as well, with that 100 that he got, Pant is the man. If England’s got Ben Stokes then India’s got Rishabh Pant,” Manjrekar said.

Rishab Pant
Rishab Pant. Image: BCCI

“This is a guy who makes an impact playing Test cricket because he goes about things very differently. He’s not pushed to start hitting straightaway. So there’ll be occasions where he will be playing or 20 dot balls and then hit three sixes depending on the condition, the bowler at the opposite end.

Rishabh Pant.
Rishabh Pant. Credits: Twitter

So I think the Test format allows Rishabh Pant to be a little more imaginative and allows him to be not pushed, he can take his time and decide when he wants to hit and which moment to do it.

“So for the moment, it seems like the Test format provides the kind of setting that he seems to enjoy. Whatever happens in the white-ball format, I don’t see that having any bearing at all on his performances at the Test level. We’ve seen that in the last two-three years,” Sanjay further said.

Pant notched up a half-century against India in the ongoing warm-up game after a lean T20 series against South Africa.

Also Read: A Couple Of My Mates Texted Me Saying There’s One For The Grandkids – Roman Walker On Picking Virat Kohli’s Wicket