Updated: Sat, 02 Jul 2022 03:21 PM IST
Wicket-keeper batsman Rishabh Pant, who led India's fightback in the fifth and final Test against England at the Edgbaston in Birmingham, on Friday broke multiple records as he scored his fifth hundred in the longest format of the game.
Pant, 24, had arrived to bat when India were in a spot of bother after losing the likes of Cheteshwar Pujara and Virat Kohli early in the game. However, the southpaw counterattacked the English bowlers and helped India recover from 98 for 5 to 338 for 7 on stumps on day 1.
In this process, he scored his fifth Test ton and broke former skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni's 17-year-old record for the fastest century by an Indian wicket-keeper batsman.
Dhoni had reached the mark in 93 balls against arch-rivals Pakistan in 2005. However, Pant scored his hundred in just 89 deliveries, breaking Dhoni's record with four balls.
He also became the first-ever wicket-keeper batsman to score two centuries in England. Pant's first Test ton had also come against England in England at The Oval in 2018, where he had scored 114 in the fourth innings of a match.
This was also Pant's fourth Test ton outside India - 114 against England in 2018, 159* against Australia in 2019, 100* against South Africa in 2022, and 146 against England in 2022. All other Indian wicket-keeper batsmen have three tons combined outside Asia - Vijay Manjrekar, Ajay Ratra, and Wriddhiman Saha (1 each).
Pant, who now is the youngest wicket-keeper batsman to score 2,000 runs in Test cricket, has also become the fourth Indian keeper to slam two hundred in a calendar year - Budhi Kunderan in 1964, Dhoni in 2009, and Saha in 2017.
CRICKET FRATERNITY HAIL PANT
For his record-breaking ton, Pant on Friday was hailed by many former players, including Board of Cricket Control in India (BCCI) president Sourav Ganguly, who called his hundred a "special exhibition of Test match batting under pressure".
Sachin Tendulkar also heaped praise on Pant, calling him "simply awesome". "Simply awesome Rishabh Pant! Well done," he tweeted.
Meanwhile, former India spinner Amit Mishra said, "When in trouble, call the Spiderman! What a fierce knock by rockstar Rishabh Pant against a quality english bowling unit under such circumstances. Best way to fight a fire is to fight it with the fire."
On the other hand, former India pacer Ajit Agarkar said that Pant has not let his white-ball form affect him in Test cricket.
"He came into the Test match being a little bit under pressure because of his form in white-ball cricket, which has been a tad indifferent. But it hasn't affected his form in Test cricket," he said. "He was batting well, particularly for India. In the five-match series where he was the captain, he was under a bit of pressure."