Rishabh Pant created a new record during the first Test between India and Australia at the Adelaide Oval. The 21-year-old Delhi keeper took 11 catches in the match as Virat Kohli’s Indian cricket team secured a thrilling 31-run win over Australia to take a 1-0 lead in the four-match series. Pant became only the third keeper in Test history to take 11 catches in a match, with England’s Jack Russell and South Africa’s AB de Villiers being the others. Pant broke the record held by Wriddhiman Saha, who had taken 10 catches in the game against South Africa in Johannesburg in 2018. Speaking to the official Cricket Australia website after the win, Pant hailed the influence of former Indian skipper MS Dhoni in his career.
“He’s (Dhoni) the hero of the country. I’ve learnt a lot from him as a person and as a cricketer as well. Whenever he’s around, I feel more confident as a person. As a wicketkeeper and a player, he’s taught me to be patient in pressure situations. You have to keep calm, be composed and try to give 100 percent.” Pant said.
Pant has had a roller-coaster start to his Test career. He made his debut in the England series and got off the mark in style by blasting a six off Moeen Ali. He ended the tour on a high with a brilliant 114 at the Oval Test. In the series against West Indies, he slammed a couple of 92s in the Rajkot and Hyderabad Tests. In Adelaide, he played some aggressive strokes in both innings but threw away his wicket in the search for quick runs. Although his inability to contain his aggression has resulted in criticism, his bravado in taking on the bowlers has gained plenty of appreciation as well.
However, in the Adelaide Test, apart from his keeping, Pant was in the news for his hilarious sledging of the Australian batsmen. His sledge to Usman Khawaja, in particular, was hilarious. When the left-hander was grinding it out, Pant quipped from behind the wicket, “Everyone is not Cheteshwar Pujara here”. He even did it to Pat Cummins by saying, “Come on Patty. Let’s see some sixes.” The sledges went viral on social media and Indian fans have asked the youngster to continue in the same vein for the next Test.
India will be aiming to build their lead in the second Test which will be played at the New Perth stadium starting on Friday. Virat Kohli’s side will be aiming to break their overseas hoodoo and secure a win for the first time in a Test series Down Under. The team has already made a great start in their quest, having won the first match of a Test series in Australia for the first-time ever in 11 attempts.