Former Pakistan captain Salman Butt has backed Team India wicketkeeper-batter Rishabh Pant’s aggressive approach on Day 3 of the Nottingham Test against England. Butt feels that Pant must keep playing his natural game because that is his best chance to succeed.
Pant was out for 25 off 20 on Friday. He smashed England pacer Ollie Robinson for a four and a six before chipping one straight to short cover. There were mixed reactions to Pant’s knock following his dismissal.
Speaking on his YouTube channel, Butt said that, though a cameo, Pant’s innings was crucial in the context of the game for Team India. He explained:
“Rishabh Pant’s 25 runs were important. His plays his own brand of cricket. If it comes off, it will look spectacular and people will glorify him. Under pressure, if you play freely and the ball hits the middle, then you look a million dollars but if you get dismissed then it can be otherwise. People will question your tactics but I think he did the right thing. This is his natural style of playing and this is how he creates impact.”
“Rishabh Pant provided impetus to the innings. His 25 may have been a small knock but it put England bowlers slightly on the backfoot. There was a 33-run partnership (between Rishabh Pant and KL Rahul) and a few more followed after that. Team India’s lead was eventually 95.”
Pant was dismissed for 4 and 41 in the World Test Championship (WTC) final against New Zealand.
KL Rahul, Ravindra Jadeja stood up for Team India’s cause: Salman Butt
In his video, Butt praised both KL Rahul and Ravindra Jadeja for rising to the challenge and lifting Team India out of trouble.
Both Rahul and Jadeja were under pressure going into the Test. While the former is playing his first Test in nearly two years, Jadeja’s place in Team India’s XI ahead of Ravichandran Ashwin has also been questioned. Hailing Rahul, Butt said:
“KL Rahul displayed patience, technique and adaptation. He is Punjab Kings’ captain and a highly aggressive batsman for Team India in white-ball cricket. But he molded himself in another situation in a way that it should be done under the conditions. Such transition separates brilliant players from the average ones. He demonstrated all the qualities of a class player and the youngsters can learn a lot from the way he adapted himself to the situation using his capability and mental strength.”
Describing Jadeja as an outstanding cricketer, the former Pakistan batter added:
“He scored runs at a good rate under pressure. England were bowling well. Team India needed him to score as the bowlers were to follow. The way Jadeja approached his innings was outstanding. He is a top-class player and is responding to crunch moments like a senior pro.”
Rahul and Jadeja featured in a 60-run stand for the sixth wicket to bail Team India out of trouble.