Manchester, July 18 ( Surprise Sports Desk) In the ODI series decider between India and England, wicketkeeper-batter Rishabh Pant took India over the line with an incredible knock of 125 not out in 113 balls, laced with 16 fours and two sixes, to complete a 2-1 series victory for the visitors.
Former India head coach Ravi Shastri, who is in England as a member of the commentary panel for Sky Sports, showered praise on Pant’s knock, calling him a player who’s got the fluency and capability to entertain cricket watchers across all formats of the game.
“He is great for the world game — he has flair and the ability to entertain people in all formats. It was a special hundred as India were down and out at one stage, but this guy is a special player,” said Shastri after the match.
In bringing up his maiden ODI century, Pant took 71 balls to bring up his half-century and then accelerated, taking only 35 balls to convert that fifty into a century. After reaching his century, Pant smacked left-arm pacer David Willey for five fours in as many balls.
Fittingly, Pant finished off the chase in style with a reverse sweep for match-winning boundary off Joe Root. The left-handed batter’s knock had the perfect balance of control and aggression to seal a series win for India.
Shastri, a former India all-rounder, further pointed out that Pant has started to be more mature in terms of cricketing intelligence. “He has realised that because of the reputation he has and the fields that are set that he has 25 runs easy before he starts his innings.
“With the fielders back he used to take them on straightaway but now he has the maturity to take the single, get used to the track and make up later. His cricketing intelligence (has improved).”
Pant will now be seen in action during the five-match T20I series against West Indies after being given rest from the three-match ODI series, starting from July 22, in Trinidad.
— Surprise Sports Desk