It might not have been one of those flamboyant Rishabh Pant-like innings that one would have expected when he walked out to bat at Trent Bridge in the first Test. His 20-ball-25 was pivotal in giving India a late boost and injecting some momentum as they put up a competitive 278 in reply to England’s 183 in the first innings.
Prior to the start of the Test series, Pant came under immense scrutiny for his innings in the World Test Championship (WTC) final against New Zealand. His knock in the second essay, where he swung, swiped, missed, and edged his way to 41 off 88 balls, was a rather uncharacteristic inning and certainly wasn’t typical of Rishabh Pant.
With the first Test against England ending in a draw, one of our writers rated him a 7/10 saying:
“Pant’s innings lasted only 20 balls, but it injected momentum into the Indian innings after the quick wickets of Pujara, Kohli and Rahane. The dashing keeper rode his luck before tamely holing out at cover, leaving fans divided about his approach once again. But that’s just how he plays, and India can expect a few explosive knocks from Pant in the coming Tests. He was exceptional behind the stumps as he plucked seven catches, including a couple of stunners.”
And ahead of the upcoming Test, we take a look at three reasons why India would want Rishabh Pant to play his natural game.
#1 Rishabh Pant is better when he attacks
This one’s a no-brainer. Rishabh Pant has always been an attacking batsman who goes for the big shot at every opportune moment. To expect him to play a slow-paced innings would mean asking him to curb his natural instincts while playing. His runs come at a quick clip and that is any day something India will take irrespective of the top order’s performances.
#2 His aggressive mindset is not reckless, but refined
While the left-handed batsman is known as a naturally aggressive stroke-maker, his recent performances of late have been a blend of daredevilry and smart shot selection. It is not as if he has blindly gone after the bowling.
A closer look at his success mantra in recent matches shows Rishabh Pant is an aggressive batsman with a shrewd brain. But that hasn’t hampered his gameplay.
#3 Rishabh Pant: A keeper with a mouth
Chirpy wicket keepers are not a novelty in cricket. And over time, the Delhi lad has proved he is more than just mouth behind the stumps where he has his focus spot on. Mohammed Siraj’s over in the first innings saw Pant force Virat Kohli for a review. The move paid off and India had their second wicket of the day.