After scoring a ton on the first day of the one-off Test against England, Rishabh Pant has stated that he tried to play to the merit of the ball in red-ball cricket. Pant scored 146 runs from 111 balls and helped the team recover after they lost half of the side before crossing the 100-run mark.
India are in a strong position at the end of first day’s play in the Test match against England. Rishabh Pant played a heroic knock for the team as he scored a century. Batting first, India were reduced to 98/5 courtesy of some brilliant swing bowling from England pacers. Rishabh Pant along with Ravindra Jadeja stitched a crucial partnership and steadied the innings. Pant smashed 146 runs from 111 balls in his game-changing innings and put opposition bowlers under pressure.
Reflecting on his knock, Pant said that he doesn’t think about opposition much and tried to play to the merit of the ball.
"I like the opposition (England) but I do not think about it much. I just look to give my 100 per cent in every match. My focus is on the cricket I play. Every ball you cannot hit, so i keep focusing and if i think I need to defend, I defend and if I think I can hit the ball, I hit the ball. Putting the bad ball away is also important, if the bowler is bowling well, then giving him respect is also a good sign. I try to play to the merit of the ball," Pant said in the press conference after day 1.
"Especially in conditions like England, where you know the bowler is bowling well, then it becomes important to disturb his line and length. I keep trying that I do not play in the same manner so that the bowler gets mentally disturbed. As a player, I look to give my 100 percent, I try to play my percentage, if I feel if it's there for me to try a different shot or hit the ball, I tend to back it. I have focused on that and it's helping me, I guess.”
Pant and Jadeja helped the team cross the 300-run mark. Jadeja has scored unbeaten 83 runs so far and will have the responsibility to take the innings forward with Mohammed Shami at the other end. Pant revealed that he discussed with Jadeja to focus on the partnership.
"The discussion with Jadeja was to focus on the partnership. If you think about it individually, then the pressure can arise. So, we thought from the team's point of view. I think I was just focusing on the ball, yes, the pressure was there. But if you focus on the pressure, you might not get the result. I try to focus on my process and that might give me results most of the time,” he stated.