Pant smashed an unbeaten 125 off just 113 deliveries in the third and final ODI against England on Sunday, July 17. The wicketkeeper-batter strung together a 133-run fifth-wicket partnership with Hardik Pandya to help Team India chase down a 260-run target with five wickets to spare in the series decider.
While reviewing the game in a video shared on his YouTube channel, Aakash Chopra was all praise for Rishabh Pant, elaborating:
“Destructive Pant, he is absolutely exceptional. Till the time Rishabh Pant is on the ground, there is no end to fours, sixes and entertainment. The guy is classy, whenever there is pressure, actually he saves his best for that game. Of course, once in a while he will frustrate you, but he enthralls you.”
The former Indian opener pointed out that it was a measured innings from Pant. Chopra observed:
“First ODI century, India were struggling and there he steered the boat. The entertainment he provides and he takes the attack. There was a maturity in this knock, it was not all about slam-bang, fours and sixes, my way or the highway.”
Pant struck 16 fours and two sixes during his knock. He was content to play second fiddle to Hardik Pandya in the initial stages of their partnership but took the attack to the opposition once he had gotten his eye in.
“He took all the responsibility on his shoulders when Hardik Pandya got out” – Aakash Chopra on Rishabh Pant
Aakash Chopra praised Pant for taking the visitors home after Hardik’s dismissal. He stated:
“He played cautiously as well, played shots after riding the bounce, and when he had to hit a six, struck Willey into the stands. He took all the responsibility on his shoulders when Hardik Pandya got out, that he will carry the entire team.”
The cricketer-turned-analyst highlighted that Ravindra Jadeja was almost a mute spectator at the other end during his unbroken 56-run partnership with Pant. Chopra explained:
“There were 55 runs left and Jaddu scored only seven out of those. When he starts hitting, he doesn’t take the name of stopping. That’s the thing about Rishabh Pant, whenever he scores runs, it leaves you in awe, there is a jaw-dropping effect that the guy is different. He is just sublime.”
Aakash Chopra had a word of praise for Pant for showing marked improvement in his glovework behind the wickets. He cited examples of the wicketkeeper’s excellent catches of Moeen Ali and Ben Stokes in the third and first ODI respectively to substantiate his point.
Q. Will the century in the 3rd ODI prove to be a game-changer in Rishabh Pant’s limited-overs career?
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