Test Cricket’s most prolific bowler was staggered to be taken to the limit in such an unorthodox way when India beat England on day two in Ahmedabad.
Anderson had just picked up the new ball and had seen Pant already tossed it to the limit from successive balls.
On the way to 101, Pant decided the moment was ripe to paddle Anderson over the English slip for one of the most remarkable strokes likely to be played in a Test.
The fourth and final game of the series is heavily geared towards India after the end of 294-7 with a lead of 89 runs in the first innings.
Pant said of his special shot: “You have to do it deliberately, but when everything goes the way you want it, sometimes you can try your luck.”
Quoted in the Times of India, he said, “I get the license most of the time, but I have to assess the situation and approach the game directly. I like to let the team win and when the audience is entertained, I am happy.”
Pant got into trouble with India at 80-4, and they stumbled at 146-6 too, but his alliance with Washington Sundar (60 not off) turned the momentum of the game.
Anderson eventually took revenge and had Pant caught by Joe Root to end a 118-ball inning, but it was the batsman’s day after starting a cautious approach.
“If the bowlers bowl well, respect it and take the singles, and that was on my mind,” said Pant. “I like to play the situation and just see the ball and react – that’s the USP of my game.
“The team plan was to hit 206, beat the English total and then do as many runs as possible as a stroke unit.”
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