Birmingham, July 1 (IANS) Rishabh Pant played one of the best knocks by an Indian batter in overseas conditions, a marvellous 146, as he and Ravindra Jadeja (83 not out) propelled India to reach 338/7 in 73 overs on day one of rescheduled fifth Test against England at Edgbaston on Friday.
At 98/5, India were in all sorts of trouble, staring at a total that would have been way less than what they expected. But Pant and Jadeja shared a counter-attacking stand of 222 runs off 239 balls, with Pant producing a knock that will be remembered for long, while Jadeja played the second foil to perfection. England were stunned, bereft of ideas as Pant was spot-on with his targets to attack and then dominate a tiring bowling attack.
The duo began the final session by hitting four boundaries in the first three overs. The pick of those boundaries was Pant collecting a pair of backfoot punches through point off Matthew Potts. When Potts tried to trouble Pant with short-pitched stuff, he got in the line of the ball and pulled comfortably through fine leg successively.
The most audacious shot of the session was Pant dancing down the pitch and slapping James Anderson over his head for a fierce boundary. Jack Leach continued to be thrashed by Pant, striking back-to-back fours despite falling over once. Pant got his century after diving for the second run off Stuart Broad. In the same over, Jadeja pushed to mid-on for a single, reaching his fifty.
After getting his century, Pant smacked Leach for two fours, one of which was an overthrown and as many sixes, one of them his trademark one-handed stroke.
Even Joe Root’s part-time off-spin wasn’t spared by Pant, carved over extra cover and a fast bouncer swivelled over fine-leg. After Jadeja pulled Stokes through square-leg to bring up India’s 300, Pant thumped Root for a six down the ground.
In a bid to reach the 150-mark, Pant for a big slog-sweep. But with Root firing a slower, wide delivery, the ball took the edge to the lone slip fielder. Stokes had another wicket when he bounced out Shardul Thakur. But Jadeja ensured that another’wicket didn’t fall till stumps were called, to make day one’truly India’s day.
Brief scores: India 338/7 in 73 overs (Rishabh Pant 146, Ravindra Jadeja 83 not out; James Anderson 3/52, Matthew Potts 2/85) against England