'Pant is in the side to do what he does, can take games away from opposition': England spin-bowling coach Jeetan Patel
Agreeing that when Rishabh Pant plays well he can take the game away from the opposition, former New Zealand spinner and current England spin-bowling coach Jeetan Patel said the India wicketkeeper-batsman is in the side to do what he did on Friday.
Pant slammed his third Test ton scoring 101 off 118 deliveries to put India firmly in the driver’s seat of the fourth and final Test against England in Ahmedabad.
"When players are allowed to play as well as they are and showcase the skills that they can ... Rishabh Pant is in this side to do what he does, like he did today, take games away from the opposition," Patel said at the virtual post-day press conference.
"He did it so well today, you know, he struck out of the middle, big applause to him."
Pant found an able partner in Washington Sundar (60 not out) as the two forged 113 runs for the seventh wicket to pull India out of trouble after it suffered a collapse.
"... he (Pant) certainly came out after that tea break and took it to us. He was in a totally aggressive role and I think it obviously paid off for them getting a hundred," Patel said.
India were 146 for six when Pant and Sundar came together before Tea. The left-handers added an invaluable 113 runs for the seventh wicket.
"But the important part of him was the partnership that they created with Washington Sundar and for them to bat,” Patel added.
He further stated that it was only in the final session that India drove away the advantage.
"Going to that last session, as I have said before 153/6, 56 runs in arrears, we were hoping, that we can step up one (wicket) early and get through them and have a lead going into this evening.
"But look whether there was discussion in the change room or not, but he (Pant) certainly came out and played shots a bit more, got more aggressive than and it came off for them."
Pant scored the first 50 runs in 82 balls before changing gears to complete his third Test hundred in 118 balls, studded with 13 fours and two sixes.
"When a guy is striking as well as he has been this series, it is pretty daunting to have him come in at seven and score the way he does," said Patel.
(With PTI inputs)