'Second great Test innings in under two months': Sanjay Manjrekar picks his 'performance of the series'
- India vs England: It was a knock that snatched the advantage away from England.
The India vs England Test series was filled with incredible individual performances. Joe Root's double century in the first Test in Chennai, R Ashwin's century in the second Test at the same venue, Rohit Sharma's innings of 161 on the turning Ahmedabad surface, followed by Axar Patel's five five-wicket-hauls. But the one performance that stands out above all for former India batsman Sanjay Manjrekar is Rishabh Pant's century on Day 2 of the fourth Test.
Pant's century changed the complexion of the game entirely. After England were bowled out for 205, it looked as if they would get away with a first innings lead when India were reduced to 146/6, but Pant's counter-attacking charge, coupled with a career-best 96 from Washington Sundar elevated India to 365, a total that in the end, proved good enough for the hosts.
"Has to be Rishabh Pant. And I remember saying at that time as well and maintaining that thought process that he's played a second great Test innings in under two months, so I've got to acknowledge that as the performance of the series," Manjrekar said on ESPNCricinfo.
With the highest tally of 32 wickets, R Ashwin emerged as the Player of the Series and Manjrekar couldn't agree more with it. He picked up 3/146 and 6/61 even though India lost the first Test but followed it with a five-wicket-haul in the second Test and a match-winning century for India. He would grab a match-haul of seven wickets in the third Test and picked up his 400th Test wicket before capping off the series with yet another five-for, his 30th in Test matches.
"When you look at the wickets tally and no one had more wickets that R Ashwin. Just Ashwin's presence, being the leader of the pack, the job becomes doubly difficult. Plus, his batting in the series that crucial time he got a hundred. There were some other contenders, some batsmen so this was more a bowler-friendly series but in the end, you've got to go with Ashwin," Manjrekar explained.