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"Saw the Ball and Reacted to it" - Rishabh Pant Explains Second-Ball Six on Debut

Cricketnext Staff | Updated: August 25, 2018, 10:46 AM IST

AFP

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If ever there were doubts on how Rishabh Pant, a swashbuckling wicketkeeper-batsman, would approach Test cricket, those were dispelled on just the second delivery he faced as an Indian Test cricketer. After swatting his first ball in Test cricket, from Adil Rashid, to cover, Pant charged down the track the very next ball to send the legspinner for a six straight down the ground. Two balls into his Test career, Pant became the first Indian to get off the mark in the format with a six.

Pant, though, said he was 'nervous' and not thinking much while playing that shot.

“I was nervous; everyone is nervous when they play their first match,” he said after India's victory in the Nottingham Test. “It was a dream for me to play Test match cricket. I was not thinking of doing anything. I saw the ball and reacted to it."

With Dinesh Karthik failing to impress in the first two Tests, Pant got a chance in the third game, and showed signs that he could hold on to the position for the foreseeable future.

Pant didn't set the stage on fire - he scored 24 and 1 in the two innings - but looked confident in the middle, particularly in the first innings before he fell to Stuart Broad. He had a successful game with the gloves too, taking a total of seven catches including five in the first innings.

Pant said keeping wickets in England was a challenge, but explained that his stint with India A prior to the Test series helped him.

“Keeping in England is always difficult because the ball wobbles a lot behind the wicket,” he said. “I’ve played for India-A for the last two-and-a-half months in England, so that helps.”

One area he needs to work on, though, is his initial movement to the on-side while keeping, particularly to Jasprit Bumrah. While Bumrah's unique bowling action makes it difficult to judge angles, Pant's initial trigger movement saw him drop an outside edge off Jos Buttler when the batsman was on 1 in the second innings. Buttler went on to make a ton, although it didn't cost India the match.

“When Bumrah bowls, he bowls with a different angle. So, sometimes we react to it (by moving towards leg-side)," Pant said. "That day I moved too much, and there was an edge. It was not too difficult a catch; I could have pulled it off but that’s part of the game. As a keeper you have to wait for the outside edge. That’s what I have learnt."
First Published: August 25, 2018, 10:29 AM IST
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