South African pace legend Dale Steyn praised the shot-making ability and courage of Rishabh Pant when the latter reverse-scooped James Anderson and Jofra Archer during England’s tour of India earlier in 2021. Steyn suggested that such stroke-play was an insult to the fast bowlers and he would have responded to Pant with a fiery bouncer if he ever attempted the shot against the Proteas great.
Pant has been in the form of his life since the tour to Australia in December-January and his ruthless, aggressive and fearless approach to batting has helped him produce many match-defining knocks for India thereafter. He continued in the same vein in the home series against England and had the audacity to reverse-scoop the highest wicket-taker (amongst pacers) in Test history - James Anderson - in the fourth Test in Ahmedabad.
Pant did not hold back even against the new pace sensation Jofra Archer who consistently delivers at above 145 kms per hour and attempted the same shot against him in the T20I series in India. Steyn said that it would have been embarrassing had Pant executed the reverse-scoop against his bowling while adding that he would have definitely peppered him with a few short-pitched deliveries.
“Is it still in the rulebook, can I roll the ball down the pitch because I would feel that embarrassed to run in and bowl another ball, but I can tell you that he would know where I am bowling the next ball, and that’s gonna be a short ball. That’s 100%," Steyn speaking to Cricinfo said.
Steyn added that Pant would dare not try those kind of outrageous shots anywhere outside India stating that it was breathtaking to watch the Indian wicket-keeper batsman do that.
“That’s disrespectful to do that kind of reverse scooping stuff. What he did to James Anderson to India, I doubt he will do it anywhere else in the world, but at that time, he looked red-hot and he was batting in such good form. I think he did it to Jofra Archer also. It’s arrogance at its best. It is amazing,” added Steyn.
Pant has been one of India’s highest impact batsmen towards the end of the inaugural WTC producing match and series-changing performances in Sydney, Brisbane and Ahmedabad.