Flamboyant India wicketkeeper batter Rishabh Pant scored his fifth Test century on Day 1 of the series-decider against England at Edgbaston. Pant played a counter-attacking 146-run knock to put the English bowlers on the backfoot. He slammed the third fastest century for India outside Asia as he reached the mark in 89 balls to pull India back in the game after they lose early wickets.
The southpaw’s ‘Pantastic’ knock was laced with 20 fours and 4 sixes. He received great support from Ravindra Jadeja from the other end as the two southpaws shared a 222-run stand which is also India’s highest for the 6th wicket against England.
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Fastest Test 100s for India outside Asia
78 balls – Virender Sehwag vs West Indies at Gros Islet in 2006
88 balls – Mohammad Azharuddin vs England at Lord’s in 1990
89 balls – Rishabh Pant vs England at Edgbaston in 2022
He also broke MS Dhoni’s record of the fastest century by an Indian wicketkeeper in Test. Dhoni slammed a 93-ball century against Pakistan in 2006.
Pant also became the fourth Indian wicketkeeper to slam two centuries in a calendar year, interestingly the 22-year-old is the only one from the list to hit them on overseas soil. Earlier this year, he slammed a century against South Africa in Capetown
Two Test Centuries in a calendar year by an Indian Wicketkeeper
Budhi Kunderan in 1964
MS Dhoni in 2009
Wriddhiman Saha in 2017
Rishabh Pant in 2022
The southpaw also became the first visiting wicketkeeper batter to slam two centuries in England. He slammed his first century on English soil in the fifth Test of the 2018 tour.
He also completed 2000 runs in Test cricket during his counter-attacking knock.
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Pant decided to bat with an aggressive approach after watching his partners walking back toward the pavilion. He started looking for boundaries almost every over. Jack Leach’s reintroduction in 37th over brought more runs for India as Pant stepped out to drive him through long-off for a boundary. Leach dropped it short on the very next ball and Pant rocked back to pull for another boundary.
The southpaw just picked up the momentum from there and started taking the charge over the English bowlers who were unsettled after receiving the hammering.
In the end, he was dismissed by Joe Root, while trying to him for a big shot to reach his 150 but edged the ball to slip where Zak Crawley took a fine catch.
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