Rishabh Pant is quickly becoming a modern-day superstar, setting a new bar for wicketkeeper-batsmen in Test cricket, writes ANDRE HUISAMEN.
Pant’s brilliance in Brisbane at the beginning of the year made the cricketing world take notice.
His innings in Ahmedabad on Friday suggested that this talented left-hander possesses all the skill and quality to become one of the greats in the game.
Pant’s application at a time when India were trying to recover could very well prove to be the deciding factor that sends them to the World Test Championship final.
It was a ton for the ages – even receiving deserved recognition from the great Adam Gilchrist.
It’s not just about how many you get, but also when you get them. If you can somehow sync the first with the second, when the team needs it most, you’re a true match winner. Looking at you @RishabhPant17 👏
— Adam Gilchrist (@gilly381) March 5, 2021
It’s not often batsmen are brave enough to try to reverse sweep a bowler like James Anderson. In fact, it’s probably the last thing anyone expected with a new ball in Ahmedabad.
The way Pant accelerated towards his century was a batting masterclass that will long be remembered. Digging your team out of trouble doesn’t always imply an aggressive style or approach.
But, the fearlessness of Pant paved a quick route for India to open up a significant lead over England with three days remaining in the final Test.
Not many other international batsmen, let alone a wicketkeeper-batsman, would have been that confident in the subcontinent during such a testing scenario.
This series has ignited a lot of opinions over the four encounters, but it’s the coming of age of a player like Pant that epitomises the Indian depth.
It’s the development of players such as Pant that continues to make them such a strong force.
Pant’s approach is quickly becoming reminiscent of that of former India skipper MS Dhoni, who changed the game in more ways than one.
At the tender age of 23, Pant is already rivalling those capabilities within the Indian structure but he could evolve even more.
It is big boots to fill, indeed, but taking the game to teams such as Australia and England in tough situations like that shows the character of a star in the making.
With that potential, Pant has the leeway to improve his game and establish himself as a dangerous weapon for India to call upon in times of need.
His sort of talent and determination don’t come around too often, and if India were to continue dominating Test cricket in that fashion, his brilliance will become critical to their success in years to come.