Rishabh Pant made instant impact as Test debutant, launching the second delivery he faced from England spinner Adil Rashid straight into the stands for six.
The 20-year-old calmed down to remain unbeaten on 22 as India finished the first day of the third Test at Trent Bridge on a solid 307/6. Pant had rapidly built his reputation as a big-hitter both in Ranji Trophy cricket as well as Indian Premier League.
Pant’s audacity left India batting coach grinning, taking his mind back to another left-hander who could tonk the ball some distance – Vinod Kambli.
“We were all very surprised, but he is a confident cricketer,” Bangar said after play on Saturday. “He has come through the ranks. He has played Ranji trophy, graduated in the India A format, so his has been a gradual rise.
“He has tremendous faith in his abilities. The moment he hit a six, my mind went back to Vinod Kambli, because even he started his first-class career with a six.
“It requires some gumption to do that. The spunk was pretty evident. So we are pretty happy with that.”
India junior coach Rahul Dravid had spoken about Pant imbibing the value of patience during his impressive show with the bat in the India A tour of England. He was added as a back-up wicketkeeper before replacing Dinesh Karthik.
Bangar was confident Pant, who has a Ranji triple century, will help build the innings and there was no need to give him directions. The youngster ran an imagined two before facing his first delivery to shake off early nerves and kept doing shadow batting before facing Rashid, who had just dismissed skipper Virat Kohli on 97.
“Well, there is no clear sort of direction to him. It is just that he plays his natural game. Ashwin has been consistent in the lower order. We also have lower order batsmen who can stick around. If we can add another 50 runs from here it will be a good first innings total after being put into bat.”
“I really appreciate and at the same time just love his self confidence, which reflects in his batting style. He bats at such a position where he can take the game away. Same like how (England all-rounder) Sam Curran took the game away from us at Edgbaston. If Rishabh can play like that then he can be ideal for that batting position.”
First Published: Aug 19, 2018 07:15 IST