Adam Gilchrist, the Australian cricket legend, hailed India’s Rishabh Pant as a “true match winner” following his impactful ton on Day 2 of the fourth Test against England in Ahmedabad.
Walking out to bat with India 80/4 and still trailing the opposition by 125 runs in the first-innings, Pant struck his second Test century and the first in home conditions.
The explosive young left-hand batsman started quite calmly, focusing on his defence and getting a measure of the track and the conditions. But he soon went on the offensive and sensing the pressure he had exerted on England took the belligerent route with his willow.
Pant’s 101 off 118 balls was a remarkable knock glint with 2 sixes and 13 fours, including an astonishing reverse-sweep off James Anderson over the slips. By the time he got out, Pant had already turned the whole situation around and given India a lead.
“It’s not just about how many you get, but also when you get them. If you can somehow sync the first with the second, when the team needs it most, you’re a true match-winner. Looking at you,” Gilchrist wrote over Twitter for Pant.
It’s not just about how many you get, but also when you get them. If you can somehow sync the first with the second, when the team needs it most, you’re a true match winner. Looking at you @RishabhPant17 👏
— Adam Gilchrist (@gilly381) March 5, 2021
In a response that showed how overwhelmed the apprentice was to receive such big praise from the master, Pant wrote, “Huge compliment coming from you, Gilly! Learned a lot watching you over the years.”
Huge compliment coming from you, Gilly! Learned a lot watching you over the years. https://t.co/H5XIQl3XMe
— Rishabh Pant (@RishabhPant17) March 5, 2021
I like to play the situation; that’s my USP: Rishabh Pant
After the end of the day’s play in Ahmedabad, Pant spoke about his thought process before he went about resurrecting the game back in India’s favour. The 23-year-old stitched two crucial stands with senior partner Rohit Sharma and his younger colleague Washington Sundar.
“The plan was just to build a partnership when I joined Rohit; that was the only thing on my mind. I was thinking I would assess the pitch and then play my shots. If the bowlers are bowling well respect it and take the singles, and that was on my mind,” Pant said after the day’s play.
“I like to play the situation and I just see the ball and react – that’s the USP (unique selling point) of my game. The team plan was to get to 206, past the England total, and then get as many runs as possible after that,” he added.