Rishabh Pant’s reverse scoop for a six off the bowling of Jofra Archer earned the India wicketkeeper-batsman accolades in a match where nothing else went right for India.
Pant, who had walked in at No. 4 to replace skipper Virat Kohli, was facing the seventh ball of his innings in Archer’s second over. Pant moved away to his leg and scooped an Archer good-length ball over the wicketkeeper to get six runs for himself and the team. India were eight for two at that time and the audacity so early in his innings is what surprised everyone.
“Holy smokes! Pant has just played the greatest shot that’s ever been played in cricket. Reverse sweeping/lifting Archer with a brand new white ball at 90mph for 6,” tweeted former England batsman Kevin Pietersen while giving in to hyperbole.
Former India batsman VVS Laxman too tweeted his admiration for the shot.
“What a(n) incredible shot from @RishabhPant17 Looking forward to him bailing the team out this terrible situation just like he did in the last few Tests. #INDvENG,” wrote Laxman on twitter.
Another former India batsman Yuvraj Singh, who was known for his hard-hitting, said, “This is the new generation!! Absolutely fearless! Reverse sweep or shot I don’t know what to call it ! But @RishabhPant17 hats off to you to hit a fast bowler like that ! Game on !! #IndiavsEnglandT20.”
Pant’s knock however, could last for 23 balls in which he scored 21 runs as the England pace bowlers restricted his strokeplay after that initial burst. He could hit no more six.
The left-handed batsman had played a similar shot against fast bowler James Anderson off the second new ball during the fourth and final Test in Motera although that shot fetched him a four. He bailed out India then but failed to do so on Friday.