Rishabh Pant was at his audacious best in the World Test Championship (WTC) Final. Playing in his inimitable style of ‘go hard or go home,’ the maverick keeper-batsman played a freakish reverse pull shot off a pacy Neil Wagner delivery.
Pant came to the crease after overnight batsmen Virat Kohli and Cheteshwar Pujara were dismissed by Kyle Jamieson. With the score reading 72/4 and India leading by just 40 runs, the pressure was being mounted by the Kiwi bowlers.
With the last recognized batsmen at the crease, the onus was on Rishabh Pant and Rahane to lead the way. However, India’s vice-captain fell to delivery down the leg-side and left Pant in a precarious situation. This didn’t deter the swashbuckling southpaw to play his natural game.
An intriguing battle with Wagner followed, with the Kiwi bowler, not the type to back down. Pant played a few hits and misses but eventually found the audacious reverse hit that he has developed in his armory during recent times. Although it resulted in just a single, he had made his intentions very clear.
New Zealand in the driver’s seat in the WTC fina
Team India was shot out for another low score in the second innings. After New Zealand gained a crucial first-innings lead of 32 courtesy of some useful contributions in the lower order, India, for the umpteenth time in the WTC, had their backs against the wall.
There was no miracle from the batting order this time around, however, as an abysmal performance in relatively easier batting conditions saw India slump to 170 all-out. New Zealand were set a target of 139 as a result and according to the latest developments at Southampton, New Zealand were cruising at 33/0.
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