Rishabh Pant enthralled cricket fans with his swashbuckling batting on day 3 of the third Test match between India and South Africa in Cape Town. Pant slammed an unbeaten 100 on a testing pitch as India were bowled out for 198 in the second innings, setting the hosts a target of 212 runs to win the match and the series. India have never won a Test match at Cape Town and have also not won a Test series ever on South African soil. If they manage to pull the two feats off, then the credit for that will duly go to the young wicket-keeper batter.
Pant played some trademark attacking strokes, hitting 6 boundaries and four sixes during his stellar knock, which included a crucial 94-run stand with captain Virat Kohli. After Kohli was dismissed, Pant realised that he had to do the heavy lifting as wickets kept falling around him. In the 60th over of India’s innings Pant advanced down the track to Duanne Olivier and cracked a powerful shot through the cover region, which went straight to the boundary, taking his personal score from 87 to 91.
While playing that shot, Pant lost control of his bat and it went flying out of his hand and landed around the square leg area.
— Addicric (@addicric) January 13, 2022
Coming in to bat after the fall of two quick wickets, of the veteran batters Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane on the third morning, Pant took his time to get going. He showed good technique and patience to ride out the initial blast from the South African pacers, before playing his shots.
Pant raced ahead by hitting a flurry of boundaries even as Kohli dropped anchor at the other end. Once Kohli was dismissed and wickets started falling around him, Pant knew he had to press on the accelerator to collect important runs for his team.
He did just that and took India’s lead past the 200-run mark on route to reaching his fourth century in Test cricket.
Pant hit six boundaries and four sixes on way to reaching the three-figure mark.
The southpaw’s innings comes immediately after he was severely criticised for playing a rash shot to get out during India’s second innings in the second Test at Johannesburg.
The youngster was backed by skipper Virat Kohli before the start of the third Test.
Pant remained unbeaten on 100 eventually as India were bowled out for 198 in the second innings. South Africa were set a target of 212 runs to win the Test and the series.
Topics mentioned in this article