India vs England, Edgbaston Test, Day 1: India vice-captain Rishabh Pant was in his element against England in the first innings of the fifth Test match played at Edgbaston. Having lost both their openers early batting first, India were in a spot of bother. Shubman Gill and Cheteshwar Pujara went in quick succession, who were soon followed by Hanuma Vihari and former India captain Virat Kohli.
With India looking down the barrel and in danger of getting bowled out cheaply, Pant took matters in his own hands and started playing his shots. The young left-hander sometimes came down the track to James Anderson, other times hitting through the line, unsettling the England attack as India took full advantage of Pant’s heroics.
Having brought up his half-century in no time, Pant was in no mood to slow down as Jack Leach found out. The Delhi Capitals captain smashed Leach for a maximum that made him the youngest Indian cricketer to hit 100 sixes at the age of 24 in international cricket. In the process, he also the fastest Indian wicket-keeper to reach 2000 Test runs.
Ravindra Jadeja gave him good company as the duo brought up their 100-run partnership in just 132 balls. The counter-attack led by Pant and well supported by Jadeja saw England run out of ideas in the second and third session of the first day’s play.
Earlier, England captain Ben Stokes won the toss and decided to field first in hope of taking advantage of the overcast conditions. To be fair to England bowlers, they didn’t do much wrong in the first session and in the first hour of the second session. Just that, Pant was a little too good on a day where the rub of the green went his way.