Rishabh Pant on Friday said he has got the license to go for his shots on most occasions but considering the game situation on Friday, he had to bide time before going for the most outlandish of strokes during his sensational innings.
Pant hit 13 fours and two sixes in his breathtaking 101 off 118 balls, his third Test hundred, on day two of the final game against England. The reverse sweep off the great James Anderson was easily the most outrageous shot he played on the day.
When asked about that particular stroke after stumps, Pant said: “You have to premeditate reverse-flicks, but if luck is going your way you can take the odd chance.
“I get the license most of the time, but I have to assess the situation and take the game head on. I like to make the team win and if the crowd is entertained by that, I’m happy,” he added in his post-day chat with the broadcasters.
The 23-year-old displayed tremendous game sense when the match seemed to be slipping away from hosts to first bide his time before taking a worn out attack to the cleaners. He completed his hundred with an audacious six off Dom Bess.
The southpaw, who has come under criticism in the past for his approach, said he needed to be cautious considering the match situation.
“If the bowlers are bowling well respect it and take the singles, and that was on my mind. I like to play the situation and I just see the ball and react - that’s the USP (unique selling point) of my game,” he said.
The 23-year-old anchored India’s innings, sharing 41 with opener Rohit Sharma (49 off 144 balls) first and then forging a 113-run partnership with Washington Sundar (60 not out).
“The plan was just to build a partnership when I joined Rohit, that was the only thing on my mind. I was thinking I would assess the pitch and then play my shots,” Pant said.
“The team plan was to get to 206, past the England total, and then get as many runs as possible after that as a batting unit.”
Last month, Pant had won the ICC Men’s Player of the Month honour for his performances in the two Tests against Australia where he scored a 97 at Sydney and an unbeaten 89 at Brisbane that led India to a historic series win against arch-rivals Australia.
Praise poured in for Pant after his superb century (his first in Tests at home) with former India captain and BCCI president Sourav Ganguly predicted that Pant will be an all-time great across formats in years to come.
“How good is he? Unbelievable..what a knock under pressure...not the first time and won’t be the last time..will be an all time great in all formats in the years to come.keep batting in this aggressive manner. thats why will be match winner and special,” wrote Ganguly on Twitter.
Pant, who not so long ago lost his place in the playing XI in all three formats, has made a stellar comeback which began with the Test series in Australia where his knocks formed the cornerstone of India’s historic triumph. He is also back in India’s white-ball squad on the back of strong performances Down Under and in the ongoing series against England.
With PTI inputs