Rishabh Pant breaks 72-year-old record in Edgbaston Test

In Test cricket, Rishabh Pant is a blockbuster entertainer, something he once again proved right on Day 1 of the ongoing Test between England and India at Edgbaston in Birmingham. With India on the ropes at 98/5 in the opening innings of the match, Rishabh Pant came to his rescue with his scintillating knock of 146 off just 111 deliveries, hitting the quickest century by an Indian wicketkeeper in the longest format of the game. On Monday, Rishabh Pant was back in action with the bat and he didn’t disappoint his legion of fans as he went on to make a solid 57 off 86 balls to help India post a total of 245 in his second essay.

En route to his fifty, Rishabh Pant broke a 72-year-old record. With his scores of 146 and 57, Rishabh Pant now holds the record for most runs scored by a visiting team wicketkeeper in a single Test match.

Previously, the record was held by West Indies great Clyde Walcott who had made 14 and 168* in a Test against England at Lord’s in 1950.

Rishabh Pant attained the feat when he reached the score of 37 in India’s second innings on Day 4 of the final Test in Birmingham.

As he did in the first innings, the India vice-captain looked in good touch in the second as well and wasted little time in completing a well-deserved half-century after resuming his knock on his overnight score of 30*.

With Cheteshwar Pujara by his side, Rishabh Pant continued with his aggressive approach as the two batters were involved in a crucial 78-run stand for India in the second innings.

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Once Cheteshwar Pujara perished off the bowling of Stuart Broad, India began losing wickets at regular intervals and Rishabh Pant too followed the veteran cricketer back in the dressing room after he was scalped by England spinner Jack Leach for 57.

Rishabh Pant’s heroics in Birmingham have earned him the moniker of India’s best-ever wicket-keeper batter in ‘Tests’ from former India opener Aakash Chopra.

“Rishabh Pant is India’s best ever wicket-keeper batter in ‘Tests’ …and he’s not even 25 yet. The number of Test match-defining innings he’s played in just 30 matches is simply sensational,” Aakash Chopra said on Twitter.

“Rishabh Pant and his Punch in test cricket continues. Call him a super star for a reason!” ex-India pacer Irfan Pathan wrote on the popular micro-blogging platform.

“Pant is in a league of his own. The most entertaining cricketer in the world, this is a special one,” Indian great Virender Sehwag posted on social media.

Former India coach Ravi Shastri called Rishabh Pant a “match-winner” for his ability to tear apart opposition bowling attacks with his ferocious approach on the pitch.

“When someone has that match-winning ability, just that natural instinct, you do not want to curb it. You want him to have that confidence when he is going out there, just being a little smarter about the ability he has, the talent. When he is defending, he has a lot of time on his hands,” Ravi Shastri said.

“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,” the ex-India speedster Ajit Agarkar said.

“It’s not the first time that he has done it. It shouldn’t come as a surprise. It’s just good for India that he has kept repeating it, especially in Test cricket. It not only put the opposition under pressure, but put India so far ahead in the game,” Ajit Agarkar added.

Meanwhile, Clyde Walcott’s record is not the only milestone that Rishabh Pant achieved in this Test match.

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With his 89-ball century in the first innings, Rishabh Pant went past the legendary MS Dhoni to become the fastest India wicketkeeper batter to reach the three-figure mark in Test cricket. While Dhoni took 93 balls to complete his ton in 2005, Rishabh Pant needed only 89 deliveries to achieve the milestone.

Rishabh Pant also broke a long-standing Sachin Tendulkar record. The southpaw became the youngest Indian cricketer to hit 100 sixes in international cricket. Rishabh Pant attained the landmark by smashing England spinner Jack Leach out of the park during his brilliant knock on Friday.

Sachin Tendulkar was previously the youngest Indian to smash 100 sixes in international cricket, having achieved the feat as a 25-year-old. But Rishabh Pant’s heroics at Edgbaston helped him leapfrog the iconic cricketer as he reached the landmark at 24 years, 271 days.

Besides breaking the records of MS Dhoni and Sachin Tendulkar, Rishabh Pant became the youngest wicketkeeper batter in the history of the longest format of the game to complete 2,000 runs as well.

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