Rishabh Pant-ICC World Test Championship
Rishabh Pant. Photo Credit: (BCCI)

Cricketer-turned-commentator Sanjay Manjrekar termed wicketkeeper-batter Rishabh Pant’s unbeaten 100 score as an unselfish knock.

Pant joined skipper Virat Kohli at the crease when India were reeling at 58/4 after losing the wickets of Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane. Kohli was meticulously trying to avoid the balls that were pitched away from his bodyline, so the onus was left on Pant to keep the scoreboard busy.

Rishabh Pant scored a scintillating hundred against South Africa on a tough surface

Pant, who has been chastised by pundits for playing unnecessary shots, orchestrated India’s lead with his aggressive mode of batting as he slashed, hoicked and swiped against the South African bowlers.

Not only did he play the bad balls, but also showed great temptation against the good deliveries with his sheer brilliance. He swiped one, playing across the line, to Duanne Olivier for a six near wide long-on.

Before that, he had blasted consecutive sixes against South Africa’s left-arm spinner Keshav Maharaj in the 48th over.

Rishabh Pant was thinking to extend India’s innings: Sanjay Manjrekar

Pant was batting at 71 when Kohli poked an outside off-stump pitched delivery by Lungi Ngidi to Aiden Markram at the second slip.

Rishabh Pant.
Rishabh Pant. Credits: Twitter

It finally ended the 94-run stand between Pant and Kohli, the latter had just contributed 15 runs in this alliance.

Pant smacked Rabada for a boundary to move to 98 and got a single on the final ball of his over to inch closer to his hundred. In the next over, he swivel pulled it through square leg to complete his fourth Test hundred.

Manjrekar said that Pant’s knock was completely intended to extend the team’s score rather than looking at his individual achievement.

How unselfish was that innings. He was only focused on prolonging that innings, not worried about getting that hundred. He has got out in the 90s a couple of times. This is a guy who plays for his team and that was amply evident,” Manjrekar told ESPNCricinfo.

Sanjay Manjrekar
Sanjay Manjrekar (Image Credit: Twitter)

“Lot of big-name batters would have quickly got a hundred and then decided ‘let me see what I can do’. He was constantly thinking of just one goal – to extend the innings,” he added.

Pant pummelled six fours and four sixes in his magnificent unbeaten knock as India were bowled out for 198 with the Proteas asked to chase 212 to win the series decider match.

South Africa were 101/2 at the end of the stumps on Day 3, they still need 111 runs to win as Keegan Petersen is batting on 48.

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