Brian Lara took to Twitter to praise and encourage Rishabh Pant’s aggressive batting against England on Day 2 of the first Test at Trent Bridge, Nottingham. The youngster faced all of eight balls to signal his intention after a collapse saw India slip from a 97/0 to 112/4.
Having bundled out England on Day 1 for a paltry 183, India started off cautiously and the openers saw out the testing 13 overs to close out the day’s play. They were expected to face an even tougher situation, with the clouds gathered around on the morning of Day 2. Plenty of assistance was on offer for the bowlers, and England had the resources to make full use of it.
However, Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul continued their overnight watchful batting, before getting a move-on towards the end of session one. An untimely Rohit dismissal off a pull shot suddenly saw England grow in confidence. They wreaked havoc on either side of lunch – James Anderson in particular – and left India reeling at 112/4. In came Rishabh Pant whose carefree playstyle came under the scanner in last month’s World Test Championship (WTC) final against New Zealand.
Rishabh Pant shows early signs of aggression which impresses Brian Lara
Although he generally spends some time at the crease before taking calculated risks, Pant came out with a different approach this time. He came charging down the track to Anderson, something that was on display back in February-March 2021. Pant didn’t make a proper connection, but it led to West Indian great Brian Lara egging the batsman on to keep going with the same intent.
That’s it @RishabhPant17 take the attack to them!! Keep the scoreboard ticking over.
— Brian Lara (@BrianLara) August 5, 2021
Scoring was tough in the conditions and survival was not the easiest either. Going for a timid approach could make things worse for the batting team, and Brian Lara felt the same. Unfortunately, just when things started to get spicy, the rain played spoilsport and the rest of the day was called off. Just 33.4 overs were bowled on Day 2, a statistic which is unlikely to improve given the forecast for Day 3.
Nevertheless, if the pocket dynamite, Pant, gets going, the Indian fans will be in for a wonderful evening. It will also be interesting to see if he sticks with the same belligerent approach.
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