Rishabh Pant took arguably the best catch of his career so far as his one-handed screamer ended Ollie Pope’s stay at the crease in England’s first innings.
The 23-year-old’s stunning grab also gave fast bowler Mohammed Siraj his first wicket on Indian soil in Tests on the very first ball of his spell.
Siraj was brought into the attack for the first time in the second Test in Chennai and the very first ball he bowled was a good length delivery heading down the leg-side. Pope saw this as a scoring opportunity and decided to nudge it on its way to the boundary.
However, Rishabh Pant had other ideas, as he put in a full-length dive and caught the ball with his left glove. As his elbow hit the ground, the ball popped out, but Pant managed to hold on to it for the second time.
— Cricket (@cricket_cri) February 14, 2021
Rohit Sharma’s brilliant 161, well-assisted by Ajinkya Rahane and Rishabh Pant’s half-centuries, had helped Team India post a score of 329 in their first innings. This total was considered a mammoth one as the pitch was turning square.
It was always going to be difficult for the visitors to counter world-class Indian spinners like Ravichandran Ashwin on such a track. But it was fast bowler Ishant Sharma who provided the hosts with the opening wicket of Rory Burns for a duck.
Team India kept on chipping away with wickets at regular intervals and Pant’s phenomenal grab had the visitors reeling at 87-6.
#RishabhPant is a top-notch all-around entertainer. He can entertain you with his batting, he can entertain you with his wicketkeeping, and he can entertain you with his never-ending commentary behind the stumps.
— Sunit Jangir (@sunitjangir5) February 14, 2021
There has been a lot of debate about whether he can be a good enough wicketkeeper, given the number of catches that he has dropped in his short career so far.
However, Rishabh Pant has certainly answered his critics in style.