India v West Indies: Analysis of Rishabh Pant's innings

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India’s batsmen continued to thrive on day two of the first Test against the West Indies at Rajkot with Virat Kohli registering his 24th Test ton.

Kohli was not the only batsman to shine on Friday with young Rishabh Pant catching the eye with a quick-fire 92 in what was his maiden Test innings on Indian soil.

Here, we take a closer look at the wicketkeeper-batsman’s gutsy innings at Rajkot.

STATISTICS

RUNS SCORED: 92

BALLS FACED: 84

BOUNDARIES: 8

SIXES: 4

STRIKE-RATE: 109.52

30-SECOND REPORT

The stage had been perfectly set for Rishabh Pant to do his thing following Prithvi Shaw’s debut ton. With the ever-reliable Virat Kohli giving him company at the crease, Pant was given the license to play his natural attacking style and the youngster didn’t think twice before taking the attack to the West Indies’ bowlers. Showing equal disdain for both spinners and pacers alike, the left-hander slammed the ball to all parts of the ground on day two of the Test.

He dealt primarily in boundaries with the flat wicket at Rajkot giving the bowlers no respite. Notching up his half-century with a stylish six off Keemo Paul, Pant was looking good for his second Test ton but fell eight runs short of the mark in the end after slicing a Devendra Bishoo googly into the hands of short third-man.

GOT RIGHT

We all know how dangerous Pant can be when he is given the license to free his arms, as shown by his performances for the Delhi Daredevils in the IPL. With Kohli content to sit back and let the youngster do all the attacking in the morning session, there were fireworks aplenty in Rajkot as Pant turned on the style.

Making full use of his brute power, Pant went after everything in his swinging arc as the boundaries flowed. Just like a certain Virender Sehwag, the youngster showed no respect for lines and lengths as he went at over a run-a-ball. His fearless brand of batting paid dividends and was the reason India for India scoring a mammoth 142 runs in a single session.

GOT WRONG

You live by the sword, you die by the sword. While Pant had been middling many of his hits to the boundary fence, some of them came through streaky edges or mishits. His attacking approach looks great when it pays off but can look ugly when it doesn’t.

With the 21-year-old nearing a second Test ton, some caution would have been done him a world of good. The wicketkeeper-batsman unfortunately played one stroke too many in the end and ended up throwing away his wicket after trying to hit Bishoo out of the ground.

VERDICT – 8/10

It was a placid track at track at Rajkot on which most of the India’s specialist batsmen made merry. Pant, however, stood out from the rest of the pack with his attacking gung-ho and fearless approach. It is a testament to his remarkable hitting powers that in the 133-run fifth-wicket stand between him and Kohli, the India skipper only contributed 37 runs, with 92 coming off the bat of Pant.

A second Test ton would have been the icing on the cake for the Delhi youngster but he lost his head in the pursuit of quick runs. Nevertheless, his innings generated plenty of momentum for India and helped them consolidate their position against a hapless Windies. His 92-run blitz might have come on the comforts of a lifeless home track but Pant continues to show that he has a bright future ahead of him and that he could be India’s long-term answer to the wicketkeeping role.

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Virat Kohli becomes second-quickest batsman in history to register 24 Test tons

Sudhir Gupta 5/10/2018
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Kohli hasn't managed to master Test chases this year.

Virat Kohli’s imperious 2018 continued with the skipper slamming his 24th ton in the first Test between India and the West Indies at Rajkot.

After Prithvi Shaw’s record debut ton put the hosts in a strong position on day one, it was Kohli’s turn to take centre stage on Friday.

Having put 72 runs on the board on day one, Kohli was content to sit back and let Rishabh Pant’s bat do the talking on day two.

The young wicketkeeper batsman batted aggressively in the morning session and dealt primarily in boundaries.

Kohli, on the other hand, was more circumspect in his approach and waited on the loose deliveries to pounce.

The 29-year-old ultimately brought up his 24th Test ton in the first session of Friday itself. The 123 innings taken by the right-handed batsman to reach the milestone is the second quickest in the history of the format, behind only the legendary Sir Donald Bradman of Australia.

Kohli beat his idol Sachin Tendulkar to that accolade, taking two innings fewer than the former India batting maestro to notch up 24 Test tons.

The century at Rajkot also helped Kohli overtake Australian batsman Steve Smith’s tally (23).

Post-lunch on day two, Kohli registered another feat by bringing up his 1,000th Test run in the calendar year with a gorgeous straight drive off pacer Sherman Lewis.

This means that the India stalwart has now registered at least 1,000 runs in his last three calendar years. In 2016, he had scored 1,215 runs while in 2017 he had notched up 1,059 runs.

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Sohail Akhtar's century gives Lahore Qalandars a winning start

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Lahore Qalandars chased down 185 to beat Yorkshire in the opening Abu Dhabi T20 Group A clash thanks to a blistering maiden century from captain Sohail Akhtar.

Opener Akhtar led an exhilarating pursuit to give the Pakistan Super League side a notable six-wicket victory with two balls to spare over a Yorkshire side viewed by many as the favourites to win the group.

The 32-year-old hit 100 off 56 balls, including 11 fours and five sixes. He fell in the 18th with 20 needed, but Phil Salt finished 37 not out and won it with a six off Tim Bresnan, who failed to defend eight off the last over.
Yorkshire’s 184-5 was underpinned by a series of useful, without being standout, contributions after being invited to bat.
Harry Brook top-scored with 37 off 26 from number three and shared a 57-run stand for the second wicket with opener Adam Lyth, who hit 32.
Gary Ballance (33) and Jonny Tattersall shared 50 for the fourth wicket as Lahore, who included veteran former Pakistan trio Abdul Razzaq, Zulfiqur Babar and Imran Nazir, struggled in the field.

Bresnan and Jack Leaning both hit sixes off New Zealand seamer Mitch McClenaghan in the final over to push the Vikings up beyond 180 on the same pitch used for the Boost v Auckland clash earlier in the day.

But, despite Bresnan getting Nazir caught in the deep for two in the second over, the Vikings did not have enough against a Qalandars side who have finished bottom of the table in each of the first three years of the Pakistan Super League.

Akhtar played with great freedom and excited the Pakistani contingent in the crowd.

He shared 70 for the second wicket with Bilal Irshad (30) to advance from 12-1 in the second over.

Akhtar was handed a life on 51 when given out by the on-field umpire following a boundary catch at long-off by Lyth off leg-spinner Josh Poysden, only for the third umpire to overturn the decision, ruling Lyth had touched the rope.

That would have left the score at 93-3 in the eleventh over. As it was, it proved the turning point. 

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