On Day 2, when India lost half its side for 121, the momentum was shifting towards England. However, India’s star wicket-keeper bat Rishabh Pant became the thorn and ensured that the game did not slip away from India’s hands.
Pant came in to bat when the scoreboard read 80-4. India was still trailing by 125 runs. Though he had the experienced Rohit Sharma at the other end, it was an even-steven contest. The 23-year old started cautiously and found his way through the innings by playing each and every ball on merit. His first 50 runs were the perfect epitome of pure Test batting and his next 51 amplified the way modern-day cricket is played.
On his way to the century, he stitched some important partnerships. First, he shared a 41-run stand with Rohit Sharma, then a 25-run partnership with Ravichandran Ashwin, and then finally the much enthralling 113 runs with Washington Sundar, which helped India go past England’s 205.
Pant brought in his century with a stellar six over mid-wicket as he slog-swept Joe Root. Everybody’s heart was in their mouths when he entered the 90s. He has been dismissed on four occasions in the 90s and everybody was hoping that it was not the fifth time.
Once he reached the three-figure mark, everyone was up on their feet to applaud the talented young cricketer. His temperament under pressure has been top notch to watch and what value he’s brought to the middle-order. He took the helmet off and raised the bat to the crowd and the heavens.
Virat Kohli reacts to Rishabh Pant’s incredible knock
The Indian captain who is usually animated on the field did not shy away to express his joy on seeing Rishabh Pant getting to his first home Test century. Virat Kohli who was watching the match jumped out of his seat and rushed to the balcony to applaud the youngster. Kohli’s celebration was captured during the broadcast of the match as the camera was focused on him after Pant hoiked that six.
The swashbuckling wicket-keeper batsman got out soon after getting to his third Test hundred as he tried to tong James Anderson over mid-wicket, unfortunately finding Joe Root in the way. He was miffed with himself but maybe seeing the crowd and his teammates giving him a standing ovation for his feat would have slightly calmed his wound.
At the end of Day 2, India is in a commanding position having pocketed a healthy lead of 89 runs. The two all-rounders Washington Sundar (60 not out) and Axar Patel (11 not out) will be expected to take the lead at least to a 150.