The 23-year-old Team India wicket-keeper batsman Rishabh Pant showed the world his match-winning heroics in the recently concluded fourth Test match against Australia in Brisbane. Needing 328 runs to win, Pant’s brilliant 89* helped India seal the deal in a thrilling encounter.
The win also helped Team India win the series by a 2-1 margin. Notably, this was Pant’s second fifty-plus score in the series. In the third Test, Pant had scored an impressive 97.
This was the second tour Down Under for Rishabh Pant after 2018-19. He got starts in every innings (29, 36, 97, 23, 89*) and came out with flying colours when it mattered most. Pant achieved a staggering average of 68.5, the most by a Team India player in the four-match series.
Coming to bat at number six or seven, Pant is an ideal batsman. He has enjoyed batting overseas and is often in charge of what he offers. Yes, at times he gets carried away and throws away the start, however, one needs to keep in mind that Pant is just 23.
He has all the time in the world to become someone like that of Adam Gilchrist for Team India. What he needs is the confidence and backup to play freely. In 16 Tests so far, Pant has amassed 1,088 runs at a sound average of 43.52.
He has hit two tons and four fifties so far. He also has a strike rate of 68.90. Notably, former Aussie legend Gilchrist had a strike rate of 81.95 in Tests. Pant isn’t far away and can match what Gilchrist offered.
What aids well for Pant is his numbers away from home. In seven Tests against Australia Down Under, the southpaw has managed an impressive 624 runs at an average of 62.40.
He has also enjoyed a strike rate of 72.13. He also has one ton and two fifties on Australian soil. Meanwhile, in England, he has 162 runs from three Tests at 27.00. He has a century in England.
Against the Kiwis, Pant has been thwarted, managing just 60 runs from two Tests at 15.00. He has a best of 25. Looking at his numbers, Pant has the potential to improve further and stamp his authority.
The last top wicket-keeper India had was MS Dhoni, who amassed 2,496 runs away from home at 32.84. Dhoni had amassed one ton and 18 fifties. Dhoni struggled in Australia but fared well in England and New Zealand. Meanwhile, Dinesh Karthik had scored 699 runs in 16 away Tests.
India’s current senior keeper Wriddhiman Saha has amassed 573 runs in 15 away Tests. Former Indian stalwart Syed Kirmani had scored 1,109 runs in 40 away Tests. Keeping all this in mind, Pant already has the numbers backing him.
He could go on to become India’s mainstay keeper and be the match-winner Team India needs. All this can contribute towards him being the best keeper-batsman for Team India.