India head coach Ravi Shastri termed Rishabh Pant as a “magnificent talent” as the latter produced great performance throughout the Test series against England with both bat and wicketkeeping gloves.
Team India on Saturday (March 6) completed a 3-1 series win over England with a thumping innings and 25-run victory in the fourth and final Test at the Narendra Modi Stadium, Ahmedabad.
Pant led the foundation of hosts’ win with a dazzling knock of 101 and Shastri called it the best counter-attacking innings he has ever seen in India.
"Pant has been simply magnificent. We were hard on him. Nothing comes easy. He was told in no uncertain terms that he has got to respect the game a little more. He's got to lose a bit of weight and work hard on his keeping. We know the talent he has and he has responded. He has worked like hell for the last few months and the results are here to see. Yesterday's innings was the best counter-attacking innings I have seen in India," Shastri said at the post-match presentation ceremony.
Shastri further talked about the first innings partnerships which Pant had with Rohit Sharma and Washington Sundar.
"It was a two-phase innings. He built a partnership with Rohit playing against his nature -- to do that is not easy -- and to turn it on after 50. Keeping has been magnificent and Washi was outstanding too," he said.
Riding on Pant’s third Test ton and Sundar’s unbeaten 96, the hosts posted 365 in the first innings, claiming a huge lead of 160 runs.
In their second innings, English batsmen were once again found out against the Indian spinners as the duo of Ravichandran Ashwin (5-47) and Akshar Patel (5-48) took five wickets each to bundle out the visitors for a paltry 135.
By virtue of this victory, India also booked a place in the World Test Championship final. Virat Kohli and company will face New Zealand in the summit clash, slated to be held at Lord’s in June this year.
"Never thought of the Test championship. Things got changed when we were top of the table and when we were not playing. The first Test in Chennai could have been different with a bit more rest," Shastri said.
(With ANI inputs)