Rishabh Pant becomes first India wicketkeeper to slam Test centuries in England, Australia, South Africa
Pant produced a lone ranger effort with his imperious batting performance of 100 not out off 139 balls as the Indians could only muster 198 in their second essay at Newlands, Cape Town on Thursday (January 13).
India’s continued shoddy batting show left them with only 211 runs to defend in the deciding third Test of the series.
Pant’s (100 not out off 139 balls) fourth Test hundred constituted for more than 50 per cent of India’s second innings total with Virat Kohli’s 29 off 143 balls being the second-highest individual score. He became the first Indian wicketkeeper-batsman to have notched up a Test century in Australia, England and South Africa.
This was the first Test match in 145-year-history where all 20 batters of one team were caught.
The day belonged to Pant as he scored a hundred which is as good as one would ever see and what stood out was his shot selection, which was immaculate. He didn’t do anything that was ‘un-Pant’ like as there was a rasping square cut off a rising one from Kagiso Rabada (3/53).
There was the audacious down the track cover drive off Duanne Olivier and that six over long-on off Keshav Maharaj came just an over before lunch.
These are all shots that one associates with the dashing keeper-batter but what was exemplary was his use of discretion as to what kind of deliveries he would attack.
In between defending the good balls, he drove Maharaj out of the attack with a one-handed slog sweep and a six over long-off.
When Olivier dug one short at his pace, it was pulled for six as he hit six fours and four sixes in all. Once Pant had unsettled the line and length of the Proteas pace unit, Dean Elgar opened the field allowing them to rotate the strike but once Kohli perished outside the off-stump, it was only Pant who had to take the burden.
The other highlight was his batting with the tail, taking a single off either the fourth or fifth delivery shielding the Number 9, 10 and 11 as much as possible.
It was also the first instance when Pant slammed a Test century in the third innings of a Test match.
Here we take a look at Pant’s performances in 3rd and 4th innings in his Test career:
Pant’s 3rd innings career (till Jan 13, 2022):
15 – Matches | 14 – innings | 1 – not out | 354 runs | 100* highest vs SA in Jan 2022 | Average – 27.23 | 1 century | 2 fifties.
Pant in each of his 3rd innings: 1, 28, 33, 7, DNB, 25, 4, 8, 41, 22, 1, 50 (vs England at Oval 2021), 34, 0, 100*
Pant’s 4th innings career (till Jan 13, 2022):
10 – Matches | 6 – innings | 1 not out | 359 runs | 114 – highest | Average – 71.80 | 1 century | 2 fifties.
Pant in each of his 4th innings: 18, 114 (vs England at Oval 2018), DNB, 30, DNB, 97 (vs Australia at SCG 2021), 89* (vs Australia at Gabba 2021), 11, DNB, DNB.
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