New Delhi: Indian cricket team's head coach Ravi Shastri revealed a conversation with Rishabh Pant during India's home series against England last year, which gave another dimension to India's wicketkeeper-batsman. Shastri, who was team India's head coach, when Pant played those two historic innings in Australia and then played brilliantly against England at home. Now in the Edgbaston Test, Pant again played a quickfire inning of 146 runs off just 111 balls with the help of 19 fours and 4 sixes.
Let me tell you that Pant has been a completely different kind of Test batsman in the last few years, he is doing things that people do not expect from a Test player. Pant's fearless attitude, which involves smashing world-class bowlers, has not evolved overnight and Pant has not been like that from the beginning. In fact, it was Ravi Shastri who worked to make Pant a dreaded batsman.
Ravi Shastri, a former Team India coach on Sky Sports, said, "Last year I was talking to Pant and I told him that I am getting bored of seeing you throw wickets in the same style every time, don't you get bored too? So why don't you try something different, some more heartless shot... Like reverse sweep? And then I saw the glow in his eyes. It is very important to support a player's ability.''
Shortly after this conversation, Rishabh Pant started playing those kinds of shots. Shastri said Pant hit a reverse sweep of James Anderson against the second new ball in the Ahmedabad Test and then hit Jofra Archer in the white-ball series. Shastri said, "He hit a reverse sweep twice off Jack Leach's balls. In the next Test, he did the same against Anderson. Hit a reverse sweep to Jofra Archer in the limited-overs series.''
Pant's batting once again showed the same attitude when he scored his fifth Test century against England in the series-deciding match in Birmingham on Friday. Pant scored a century off just 89 balls, which is the fastest Test century by an Indian wicketkeeper-batsman to go higher. Pant's innings put India in a better position, as India lost 5 wickets for 98 runs. In such a situation, Pant added more than 200 runs with Ravindra Jadeja.