Rishabh Pant scored his 3rd Test century during the fourth England Test. (BCCI)
Rishabh Pant scored his 3rd Test century during the fourth England Test. (BCCI)

'He pulls a reverse sweep to a guy who has 600 wickets': Joe Root admits it's 'difficult to keep Rishabh Pant quiet'

  • India vs England: Acknowledging that it is difficult to keep Rishabh Pant quiet, England captain Joe Root said it takes a lot of skill and courage to reverse sweep a bowler like James Anderson who has 600 wickets to his name.
PUBLISHED ON MAR 07, 2021 07:14 AM IST

Acknowledging that it is difficult to keep Rishabh Pant quiet, England captain Joe Root said it takes a lot of skill and courage to reverse sweep a bowler like James Anderson who has 600 wickets to his name. Root was referring to Pant’s shot on Day 2 of the India vs England 4th Test against Anderson. In the 83rd over of the Indian innings, Pant reverse-flicked Anderson for a four and that too when England had just taken the second new ball.

"The way he bats, he makes it difficult for bowlers to build pressure on him. Sometimes he pulls a reverse sweep to a guy, who has 600 Test wickets. So it is quite a skill and a brave move to do and it came off for him and got themselves (India) to a very good position on that wicket," said Root, referring to the reverse sweep.

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The England skipper acknowledged Pant's remarkable ability to take the attack by the scruff of its neck. It was the 113-run partnership between Pant (101) and Sundar (96) that turned the match towards India which they won by an innings and 25 runs to take the series 3-1.

"He (Rishabh) is such a difficult player to keep quiet. We came across some brilliant batting at that stage. So I do think that their experience in these conditions probably just outplayed us and was the difference and a big difference in fact in this series," Root added.

"It was a frustrating way to finish the game. We were very much in the hunt and credit to Washington and Rishabh for that outstanding partnership made it very difficult for us. There have been times we had a chance to wrestle the game in our favour, to get on top, just didn't manage to do it.

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"India played those important, key moments better than us in these last three games and credit for being able to do that better than we do. So, it has been disappointing, it has been frustrating to finish the series on a note that we have but we are going to keep looking forward as a team," said Root.

But not all was doom and gloom for Root, who found solace in the fact that his wicket-keeper Ben Foakes and left-arm spinner Jack Leach performed their roles to the best of their abilities.

"Ben's keeping this series has been excellent, I think, he is arguably the best keeper in the world, he is a fine player," the skipper said. “What I am impressed is with how Jack has performed on this trip, he has been brilliant, he has certainly got better and better as the tour progressed and he has been a very attacking option.”

England have been following a rotation policy for some time. Root was asked if it was rigid, but the skipper insisted that it "was all done in the best interest" of his team. Root also emphasised that having the best players available is something a captain always wants but that does not mean that players burn themselves out.

"It is going to be really important that we, with the amount of cricket that we are playing, having a number of guys that are multi-format, we look after everyone and don't get to the stage where guys are severely burnt out. And we're losing out on some real talent and also that they are losing out on the enjoyment factor once again," he said.

(With PTI inputs)

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