Rishabh Pant led India’s fightback by smashing his fifth Test century on Day 1 of the ongoing rescheduled fifth Test against England at Edgbaston. Pant scored a counter-attacking century off just 89 balls as India managed to recover from a top-order collapse.
At the time of filing this report, India were 321/6 with Ravindra Jadeja batting on 68 not out and Shardul Thakul on 1. Pant departed on 146 from 111 balls.
The 24-year-old hit 15 boundaries and a six en route the 100-run mark. With India reeling at 98 for five, Pant and Ravindra Jadeja stitched an unbeaten partnership for the sixth wicket and took India past the 200-run mark.
This was the fastest century by an Indian wicketkeeper in Tests. Pant also crossed the 2,000-run mark in Tests during his swashbuckling knock as he frustrated England bowlers.
This was Rishabh Pant’s second Test century in England, and his fourth one away from home.
Pant’s partnership of over 100 runs with Ravindra Jadeja, who hit a half-century of his own, came at a crucial juncture, with James Anderson and Matthew Potts sharing five wickets between them to leave India reeling at 98/5. Anderson got openers Shubman Gill and Cheteshwar Pujara and then Shreyas Iyer, while Matthew Potts sent Hanuma Vihari and Virat Kohli packing.
Earlier, England had opted to win the toss and opted to bowl. Jasprit Bumrah is captaining India in the match, with regular skipper Rohit Sharma ruled out with COVID-19 and vice-captain KL Rahul out with injury.
Virat Kohli-led India had taken a 2-1 lead in the series last year before the fifth Test was postponed due to a Covid outbreak in the visitors’ camp.
Pant, the vice-captain in this Test match, chose to promote himself ahead of Shreyas Iyer and stabilise the innings, however, that went in vain after Virat Kohli edged a ball back into his own stumps.
This was yet another counter-attacking knock that saved India from a downfall, something that is turning out to be synonymous with Pant. He did it repeatedly in Australia in the historic Test series win under the leadership of Ajinkya Rahane in 2020/21.
He has previously scored two centuries against England one at home and one away, one century against South Africa and one against Australia.