It took some time, but Rishabh Pant’s performances are finally turning heads for all the right reasons. Over the past few months, the Indian wicketkeeper-batsman has emerged as one of the side’s most important players in the longest format of the game.
In the recently-conluded India’s 3-1 series win over England, Pant yet again played a crucial knock for the team, bailing the side out of trouble with an impressive century. He scored 101, steering India to a strong lead of 89 runs at the end of Day 2 of the fourth and final Test against England.
The innings came at a moment when the memory of his match-winning 91 against Australia on the final day of the Gabba Test are still fresh and has further increased his clout in the Indian cricket.
And BCCI president and former Indian skipper Sourav Ganguly feels Rishabh Pant is a match-winner that India needed and could have won India the Sydney Test, had he not fell three runs short of his century.
“I have seen Pant very closely and I believe in match-winners. When they get going on their day, they single-handedly can win matches. Rishabh Pant is such a player,” Ganguly told India Today. “I have also said this in the past, had he stayed at the crease for 5 or 6 overs, India could have won the Sydney Test. He is a game-changer. I like match-winners. In my time, we had Sehwag, Yuvraj, Dhoni.”
Ganguly furhter praised his aggressive approach in the final and fourth Test against England.
“Look at the way he played against England. India were 146 for 6 (4th Test in Ahmedabad). The match could have gone anyway. He turned it around with his knock. Look at his game sense. The second new ball came in. His counterattack against Anderson was brilliant,” Ganguly added.