Edgbaston: Uncertainty always looms in cricket, especially when a team has a batter like Rishabh Pant. He not only rescued the team and steadied the ship, but his dominating innings must have provided a plethora of confidence to other Indian batsmen that the pitch is playing well and English bowlers can be negotiated without any clamour.
Some players have the talent to change the complexion of the match in one session or within a few overs in Test cricket. Earlier, Virendra Sehwag and Dhoni were the same sort of player. They used to rain fours and sixes, and most of the time, swing the pendulum of the match with their attacking mode of batting. Such kinds of hitters demolish the opposition’s bowling.
Rishabh Pant has the talent to hit balls with great authority and never care about the situation and reputation of bowlers. There is no word for defence in his dictionary. At the Edgbaston Test, England won the toss and put India to bat first.
India was reeling in trouble since the beginning of the innings, having lost both the openers cheaply. The wickets continued to fall, and at one point, the score was 98 for 5. Cricket experts predicted that the Indian innings would be over soon.
The two lower order batters, Rishabh Pant and Ranvindra Jadeja, occupied the pitch like rocks. Pant ripped through the hosts’ pace attack, stepping out of the crease and hitting the ball all around the park. Jadeja kept one end intact and both the players knitted a fabulous 222-run partnership for the sixth wicket on day one of the fifth Test match of the series.
The aggressive batting of Pant hammered all the bowlers and disheartened the English attack. He scored a superb 146 off 111 balls in which he hit 20 boundaries and four sixes. Jadeja is still occupying the crease and remained unbeaten on 83 at the end of the day.
It is astonishing to go from 98/5 to 338/7 in just 73 overs. All credit goes to Pant and Jadeja for bringing stability to the Indian innings.
Speaking after the end of the day, Pant said that the idea was to disturb the rhythm of the English pacers so that they could not bowl on the same line and length all day.
Pant’s unconventional shots made the English bowlers nervous, and they bowled some loose deliveries, which fully utilised both the Indian batters.
James Anderson was the pick of the bowlers. He tested all the Indian batters with his accurate line and length. The match is well poised. Both sides have a chance to grab an advantage on day two. If India manages to score 425, then bowlers can put pressure on English batsmen quite easily. It all depends on Jadeja and the lower order batters on how long they stretch the Indian innings.