Rishabh Pant makes jaws drop, bowler speechless with unbelievable shot; Ponting, Sreesanth feel sorry for Anderson | Crickit
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Rishabh Pant makes jaws drop, bowler speechless with unbelievable shot; Ponting, Sreesanth feel sorry for Anderson

Jun 06, 2024 03:09 PM IST

Rishabh Pant's audacious reverse scoop for six against Ireland's Barry McCarthy brought back memories of unimaginable stroke against England's James Anderson.

There are beautiful shots. There are difficult shots. And then there are shots played by Rishabh Pant. Decoding them as mere mortals seems harder than their execution on the field, to Pant, that is. The wicketkeeper-batter brought one out of the closet during India's T20 World Cup 2024 opener against Ireland at the Nassau County Cricket Stadium in New York. That it was also the shot that finished off the match added to the theatrics.

Rishabh Pant plays the audacious reverse scoop against Ireland
Rishabh Pant plays the audacious reverse scoop against Ireland

When Ireland medium pacer Barry McCarthy delivered the ball on a good length, angling across the left-hander, he wouldn't have imagined that it would land a few rows back in the stands exactly in the opposite direction of the sight screen. The disbelief on his face is hard to explain in plain words.

To Pant and most Indian fans, it was business as usual. It was not the first time the left-hander reverse-scooped a fast bowler over the keeper's head for a boundary. The victims include England's James Anderson and Jofra Archer. The former with the second new ball in a Test match in Ahmedabad.

"We shouldn't be surprised. We've actually seen this in Test cricket as well. It was against James Anderson with the second new ball. Just helped him on his way. It's one thing practising in the nets and then going on to do in a World Cup match. He's been good today. Just what Rishabh Pant needed at the start of this World Cup," former Australia captain Ricky Ponting said in commentary.

Sure, Ponting would have seen a few of those in the nets when he was working with Pant during the IPL as the head coach of the Delhi Capitals. And yet, the shot had elements that would drop jaws.

Two things play a major role in Pant's successful execution of a reverse scoop against fast bowlers: his incredibly stable base and uncluttered mind. There was hardly any movement when the bowler released the ball, and the strong base allowed him to get that free flow of arms.

Rishabh Pant's reverse scoop in India vs Ireland T20 World Cup match

Ponting was the only one to point out the Anderso reference. Former India fast bowler Sreesanth said The England legend would know how it feels. "Ask James Anderson how it feels," said Sreesanth on Star Sports.

India only required 97 to win after a dominant display by their bowling attack, with left-arm quick Arshdeep Singh striking twice in the third over to reduce Ireland to 9-2 after Rohit won the toss.

All-rounder Hardik Pandya took two wickets in two balls on his way to 3-27 and Jasprit Bumrah, the player of the match, 2-6.

Rohit punished Ireland with a 37-ball innings, including four fours and three well-struck sixes, as he shared a stand of 54 with Rishabh Pant.

The wicketkeeper, returning to international cricket after a horror car crash in December 2022, finished on 36 not out and ended the match with a typically flamboyant reverse-scooped six off Barry McCarthy as India won with nearly eight overs left.

Rohit was not there alongside him, however, having been previously struck on the arm by Josh Little, although he struck the next two balls from the paceman for resounding sixes.

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