Before Thursday, only one designated wicket-keeper in the entire history of Test cricket had scored three away centuries in South Africa, England and Australia combined. That man went by the name of Adam Gilchrist. The former Australian star had two Test tons in South Africa and one in England in his glittering career.
On day three of the Cape Town Test, Rishabh Pant added his name to that list of two. And he has done that on his first tour of each of these nations.
It was yet another third/fourth innings effort to remember from Pant in his short Test career as he scored a bulk of India’s runs in what was an otherwise abject batting performance. Only Virat Kohli offered resistance apart from Pant as India were bowled out for 198 to set South Africa a target of 212.
Pant’s superb innings at least set South Africa what could be a problematic target – 212 – given the low scoring nature of the match.
Whoever emerges victorious will also take the series – they are tied 1-1 – which for India would be a first in South Africa.
Pant made 100 not out off 139 balls, hitting six fours and four sixes before he ran out of partners when last man Jasprit Bumrah was caught at cover off Marco Jansen.
Rishabh Pant is now the first Indian wicket-keeper to score three away Test centuries, and no other has scored two.
Away Test centuries by Indian wicketkeepers
Pant now holds the record of being the first Indian wicketkeeper bat to score Test century in England, the first Indian wicketkeeper bat to score Test century in Australia and the first Indian wicketkeeper bat to score Test century in South Africa.
List of away Test 100s by Indian WKs
|VL Manjrekar||118||3||v West Indies||Kingston||28 Mar 1953|
|A Ratra||115*||1||v West Indies||St John's||10 May 2002|
|MS Dhoni||148||2||v Pakistan||Faisalabad||21 Jan 2006|
|WP Saha||104||1||v West Indies||Gros Islet||9 Aug 2016|
|RR Pant||114||4||v England||The Oval||7 Sep 2018|
|RR Pant||159*||1||v Australia||Sydney||3 Jan 2019|
|RR Pant||100*||3||v South Africa||Cape Town||11 Jan 2022|
Even taking out the qualifier of wicketkeeper batters, Pant is now a part of a group as elite as just 15 in count. Only 15 Indian batters have ever scored three or more Test centuries overall in South Africa, England and Australia. Look at the other names in the group and it puts even more emphasis on the feat Pant has achieved and so early in his career.
Most Test centuries in SA, ENG, AUS for India
Pant also holds the record for most Test centuries by an Asian wicketkeeper in South Africa, England, New Zealand and Australia.
Here are some more numbers from his innings:
All stats in the tables are for men’s Test cricket and courtesy ESPNCricinfo Statsguru