Rishabh Pant made his debut for India in 2017 after he was named in the T20 squad for their series against England. He became the youngest Indian player to make his debut, a record eventually broken by Washington Sundar later.
In 2019, Rishabh Pant made his way into the World Cup squad as a replacement for Shikhar Dhawan. He had been ruled out from the tournament after suffering a hairline fracture on his left thumb. Pant emerged to be the ICC rising star of the squad following the World Cup. The 23-year-old wicket-keeper batsman has been an influential name in the squad since then. With his innate humility to learn from his seniors, Pant’s game has developed over the years.
Here are the top five Cricketing knocks from Rishabh Pant when he burst out into the scene, often saving his team from an impasse.
89*(138) vs Australia, Brisbane 2021
Brisbane, also known as the Gabbatoir, was Australia’s unvanquished fortress from 1988 until Rishabh Pant’s fairytale innings brought it down. India emerged victorious in the series escaping from an inevitable defeat. With a plethora of runs to be scored, India was handed a target of 328. A good feisty start of the second innings by the openers made it evident that India would not be looking for a draw.
In the end, the successful strikes from Rishabh Pant and Subhman Gill paved way for India’s win. When the match brought everyone to their edge of the seats Pant would fearlessly go for a swift cover-drive or a paddle sweep. As much as the hungry Australian bowlers wanted to break his confidence, Pant retaliated when needed. It was Cheteswar Pujara and Pant’s constant pressure that blocked all of Australia’s vantage points.
97(118) vs Australia, Sydney 2021
The third test in Sydney in the Border-Gavaskar trophy was a crucial one for India. A loss would see the trophy slipping from their hands and a draw would mean they were still in the competition. The Indian opening order and middle order had kept faltering before the Australian bowlers for quite a while, and it was about time someone picked up the baton.
With a ton of runs to score Rishabh Pant played a remarkable inning, scoring 97 off 118 balls. A blistering knock from this left-handed batsman jeopardized Australia’s efforts to bundle team India. Although Cheteswar Pujara and Hanuma Vihari emerged as heroes of the day, it was Rishab Pant’s staggering 97 which inspired the win.
159*(189) vs Australia, Sydney 2019
In 2019, Rishabh Pant became the first Indian wicket-keeper to score a century against Australia in test matches. The fourth test in Sydney against the Aussies, Cheteshwar Pujara, and Pant’s feisty knocks in the first innings had brought Australia to dust. The home team trailing by 622 runs, stood all out after scoring 300 runs.
The test was not something that went down to the wire but was an example of how dangerous Rishabh Pant was with the bat. To this date, his 159 off 189 balls against Australia is the highest number of runs he has scored in his test career.
114(146)vs England, London 2018
Soon after Rishabh Pant made his T20 debut he was called for India’s test series against England. He made his test debut against England featuring in the third test as he replaced Dinesh Karthik. His first two test performances were considerably better than Karthik but it was his century in the fifth test that created a ruckus.
Rishabh Pant became the second youngest and the only Indian wicket-keeper to score a century in England. Although India suffered a heavy defeat losing the test 4-1 to England, Rishabh Pant’s contribution to his side remains etched in our memory.
91(88) vs England, Chennai 2021
Since returning from Australia, Rishabh Pant has carried his flourishing form in Test cricket with his flamboyant and gleeful smile. In the ongoing England tour of India, the first test saw Pant carrying out his explosive form scoring 91 runs off 88 balls, falling just 9 runs short of a century.
Rishabh Pant was entrusted with his batting skills when India was 4 down at 73, he paired with Cheteshwar Pujara to bring up a partnership of 119 runs. Jack Leach the left-arm spinner was thrashed with 5 sixes from Pant. It was ultimately when Pant miscued Dominic Bess’s spin and Leach managed to grab a catch near the deep cover, he was seen walking back to the pavilion.
This young batsman from Uttarakhand has been India’s answer to its search for a much-awaited middle-order batsman. A position that has previously seen the likes of Yuvraj Singh, Rahul Dravid, is now a responsibility to be shouldered by this lefty who can keep wickets as well. Rishabh Pant has proved to be the talisman who comes down at number four to fight off any danger looming large on the team.