Rishabh Pant has not looked back since this year’s Indian Premier League. Pant ended this year’s IPL as the second highest run-getter with 684 runs from 14 games. It included five fifties and one century. He soon found a place in India A squad for the England tour where he impressed as well. It paved his way for Test call-up, and he made a big impression again.
The southpaw got off the mark in Tests with a six before scoring a stunning century in the final Test. It was followed by two impressive fifties against Windies at home. And Pant has now further enhanced his reputation with a stunning century in the ongoing fourth Test against Australia at the Sydney Cricket Ground.
Pant smashed a historic ton to help India pile up a mammoth total of 622 for 7. The southpaw had got the starts in every match of the series but was just not being able to make them count. However, on Friday he finally capitalised on the start and smashed an unbeaten 159. Consequently, he ended up creating and breaking quite a number of records during his stunning knock.
Rishabh Pant became the first Indian keeper to score a Test century in Australia. The previous highest score by an Indian keeper in Australia was 89 by Farokh Engineer in the 1967 Adelaide Test. A few months ago, he had also become the first Indian wicketkeeper to score a Test century in England. He now holds the record of highest overseas score by an Indian wicketkeeper in Tests and also became the first Indian wicketkeeper to score a 150+ score in Test cricket away from home. The previous highest individual Test score by an Indian keeper outside India was MS Dhoni’s 148 in the 2006 Faisalabad Test against Pakistan. Pant also became the first Indian wicketkeeper to score two Test tons outside India.
Impressed with his latest knock, former India skipper Sourav Ganguly feels Pant should play in every format for India. The youngster was recently dropped from the ODI squad for the upcoming series against New Zealand and Australia.
“He is an outstanding player and all I would like to tell the selectors is that he should play all the formats because he could be a match winner for India in the World Cup. He can play at No.4 because he has an uncomplicated batting style. He plays the fast-bowlers with ease and hits them for boundaries.
“In the first two Tests he threw his wicket away but today he controlled himself and his batting never looked in trouble. He is an asset for India and his keeping will improve with time and he will play for India for the next 10-15 years. So, I just want the selectors to add one more player to the team and play him in the upcoming series against Australia and New Zealand,” Ganguly told IndiaTV.
The legendary skipper also said that Pant could be a game changer for the Men in Blue in ODI fold.
“You need players who can change the game for you. Rohit, Dhawan and Kohli will change the game and after these three, Pant could be the player, who can change the game for you…none have the calibre otherwise. Ambati Rayudu, Kedar Jadhav and even Mahendra Singh Dhoni will play in their own ways but this guy can change the game in even five overs. So, you need to take care of him,” Ganguly said.