Top 3 Rishabh Pant Knocks in Test Cricket in India
Pant has had an exceptional performance in Tests (Twitter)
Hailing from Uttarakhand, Rishabh Pant has come a long way in a very short span. Once considered an unpredictable batsman and a liability behind the stumps, Pant has undoubtedly proven all his critics wrong .
At just 24 years old, Rishabh Pant currently holds the 10th position in the ICC's Test rankings for a batter. He has become an integral part of India's batting order, allowing them to field a five-bowler strategy without compromising their batting strength. Due to unforeseen circumstances, Pant suffered an unfortunate accident last December, which has kept him out of action as he recovers.
However, he has time and again exhibited his ability to rescue India from difficult situations and deliver exceptional performances, regardless of the conditions or opposition . While his performances overseas have been exceptional, his record on home soil has also been outstanding.
His test career has witnessed a remarkable surge. In the 56 innings he's played, the left-handed batter has accumulated 2271 runs at an impressive average of 43.67, maintaining a strike rate of over 73. He has also successfully registered eleven half-centuries and five centuries.
Let's take a look at the top three outstanding innings from Rishabh Pant's Test career in India thus far:
3. 91 off 88 balls vs England at Chennai (2021)
Rishabh Pant's aggressive batting style proved to be a double-edged sword in the 1st Test against England in Chennai. On Day 3, he played a counter-attacking innings, scoring a valuable 91 runs. However, when he was closing in on a century, he fell victim to off-spinner Dom Bess.
Rishab Pant (Twitter)
Pant attempted a big shot but failed to connect cleanly while trying to hit against the spin. The resulting thick edge was well caught by Jack Leach at deep cover, ending Pant's innings just nine runs short of another deserving hundred. Consequently, he had to make his way back to the pavilion.
2. 92 off 132 balls vs West Indies at Hyderabad (2018)
During the second Test against the West Indies in Hyderabad in 2018, Rishabh Pant fell short of scoring his second Test century for India. After winning the toss, the West Indies decided to bat first and posted a respectable total of 311, with Roston Chase contributing a well-made 109. India's Umesh Yadav impressed with a six-wicket haul.
When India came to bat, they were at 162-4, and it was at this point that Rishabh Pant came in to bat. Initially, Pant played cautiously, particularly against Jason Holder, who posed challenges for the Indian batsmen. Pant received support from middle-order batsman Ajinkya Rahane, and together they formed a crucial 152-run partnership for the fifth wicket.
Pant exhilarating top-class batsmanship. (Twitter)
Pant demonstrated his dominance over the West Indian spinners, hitting 11 boundaries and back-to-back sixes against Jomel Warrican. He comfortably handled the second new ball. Despite the home team losing their last six wickets for just 51 runs, Pant's contribution was highly significant. India gained a first-innings lead of 56 runs and subsequently bowled out the West Indies for a mere 127 in the second innings.
1. 101 off 118 balls vs England at Ahmedabad (2021)
Rishabh Pant continued his remarkable performance in 2021 with an outstanding display in the fourth Test against England, where he achieved his maiden Test century on home soil. This century marked his third Test hundred overall. The match began with England posting 205 runs in the first innings on a pitch favouring batting in Ahmedabad.
India faced a challenging start to their innings, finding themselves at 41-3 when their captain, Virat Kohli, was dismissed for a duck by Ben Stokes. This led to a precarious position for India at 80-4 after the dismissal of Ajinkya Rahane, giving England the upper hand. However, Pant's entrance into the middle of the pitch changed the game's momentum.
Rishabh Pant (Twitter)
Initially playing cautiously, Pant showcased his dazzling strokeplay, putting pressure back on England. He played vital roles in two crucial partnerships to stabilize the Indian innings. First, he added 41 runs with Rohit Sharma (49) for the fifth wicket, then formed a significant 113-run partnership with Washington Sundar (96*).
With a striking display of 13 boundaries and a couple of sixes, Pant reached his century by hitting a six off Joe Root over mid-wicket. This milestone came in just 118 deliveries, demonstrating Pant's aggressive batting style.