Rishabh Pant changed his game plan and in turn India’s fortunes with a Magnificent Century, helping the side snatch control of England’s grip to end Day 2 a solid 294 for 7 in of the final test here on Friday. England dominated the first two sessions and India appeared in all kinds of trouble before Pant (101 of 118 balls) suddenly decided to grab the opponent by the skin of the neck, shifting effortlessly into Washington Sundar company (60, 117 bullets, 8×4).
The duo added 113 points in 26 overs, but more importantly, landed an exquisite ‘left hook’ on England’s party-poop hopes, having already conceded an 89-point lead in the first inning.
In terms of strains, Washington was still at the fold with Axar Patel (11).
For someone, who has always been criticized for his lack of knowledge of the game, it was Pant 2.0 in-game where he defended himself when needed but unlocked his brutal attacking instincts when needed.
The first 50 came out of 82 balls and the following ones from 33 balls, Washington being the ideal foil, holding one end well en route to his third half-century of testing cricket.
Just as playing just one spinner in the third test was a mistake, England paid the price for playing a bowler as their main four got tired in the last session.
In the Virender Sehwag style, Pant dropped Joe Root in the “cow corner” of the stands against the turn, to complete his third Test 100, first at home, having missed at least five in recent years.
When he finally came out, Root’s frustrated expression was a sign that the game was now out of control for England, having conceded up to 141 points in a single session.
Pant had hit 13 fours and two sixes in an inning which in all likelihood would earn him the man of the match award.
Ben Stokes (22-6-73-2) troubled the Indians with high deliveries, one of them got skipper Virat Kohli (0), but there was no problem for Pant, who would happily pull the English all-rounder.
The boldness with which he descended on the track against Anderson (20-11-40-3), dropping him on extra cover for a limit, could have taken anyone’s breath away.
Pant changed the pace of his innings so subtly, that not even Root was sure what hit his team who looked in control when India entered the tea at 153 for 6.
Pant was then batting on 36, defending deliveries that were going to turn and jump off the rough while playing both Anderson and Stokes wisely.
England had so far kept the ball’s sparkle well, but after tea, as the ball softened, Pant took matters into his own hands.
Washington looking solid on the other end, Root asked Jack Leach (23-5-66-2) to go around the wicket and the idea played into Pant’s hands as the visitors didn’t attack enough. difficult areas.
It was a fascinating day of test cricket where flamboyant players like Rohit Sharma (49 out of 144 balls) and Pant traded in their natural attacking instincts for a more conservative approach.
The pitch wasn’t very hard to beat, but certainly not as easy as Pant made it seem with his approach of the devil who later cares about Washington.
Earlier in the first session, the dismissals of Cheteshwar Pujara (17 of 66 balls) and Kohli (0 of 8 balls) brought England back into the game.
Ajinkya Rahane (27 of 45 balls) hit a flurry of limits to shake the scoreboard, but James Anderson caught him on the second slip with a nice delivery that held his line at lunchtime in one session.
The approach Rohit and Pujara took on their 40-run 24-overs stand in the morning was not bad. They saw Anderson’s morning spell with Stokes leaning his back to the other end.
The flashy shots were cut and with all the time at their disposal they were ready to crush bowlers and send those occasional bad balls to the limit.
Such a full pitch or a Stokes Leach pitch was dealt brutally by Rohit, who otherwise produced a dead defensive bat on several occasions.
It wasn’t until late in the session that he played an overhead shot, sweeping Dom Bess between a deep center wicket and a deep square leg for a limit.
Pujara also did the hard work but ended up getting frustrated with Leach making him her bunny.
He pushed forward hiding his bat behind the pads to a straighter Leach and Nitin Menon made a good decision considering the deliberate padding of a ball hitting in the middle.
Motera’s sparse crowd, anticipating a “Friday morning show” from the Indian megastar captain, were left high and dry when Stokes produced an effort ball with extra bounce outside the lane without a strain than Kohli bordered at Ben Foakes behind the stumps.
The script didn’t change until the final session, but then they were hit with “Hurricane Pant” which took a long time to develop.
Topics mentioned in this article