Image Courtesy: PTI/Aakash Chopra/Facebook
Commentator-cum-cricket pundit Aakash Chopra reckons that Team India's high-profile wicket-keeper batsman Rishabh Pant could be the 'X-factor' in the upcoming tour of England where Virat Kohli & Co. are scheduled to play five Test matches starting August 4.
Meanwhile, the Indian team will be looking to rewrite history this time around as they hope to break a 14-year jinx of not registering a Test series win on English soil (since the 2007/08 season).
“Rishabh Pant could be the X-factor. You can play with five bowlers by including Jadeja, so I do agree that this is perhaps the best opportunity for India to win in England,” said Aakash Chopra while interacting on his latest YouTube video.
Rishabh got the opportunity to don the gloves in the second Test match at the MCG after veteran stumper Wriddhiman Saha had failed with both bat and the gloves in the pink-ball Test at the Adelaide Oval that preceded the Boxing Day Test. However, he played impactful knocks in the final two Tests at the SCG (97) and Brisbane (89* where he also hit the winning boundary) and had a lion's share in helping India retain the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.
Team India had to chase a stiff total of 328 runs to register a famous win on the final day of the Brisbane Test match.
After losing Rohit Sharma early on Day 5, it seemed as if the visitors would settle for a draw. However, Shubman Gill had other ideas as he kept them in the hunt with a solid 91. Gill's batting partner Cheteshwar Pujara on the other hand made the Australian bowlers toil hard for his wicket even though they were resorting to bodyline bowling tactics.
The number three Test batsman stood tall by braving constant bouncer barrage and played an impactful knock of 56 runs from 211 deliveries and once he was dismissed, it seemed as if it would open the floodgates for the hosts. Nonetheless, Rishabh Pant had other ideas as he toyed around with the Aussies bowlers and brought India within touch distance of victory.
In the end, the young wicket-keeper batsman Rishabh Pant hit the winning runs as all the members of the Indian team ran towards the ground to celebrate. Thus, Ajinkya Rahane & Co. ended up retaining the Border Gavaskar Trophy by winning the four-match series 2-1 and India registered back-to-back Test series triumphs Down Under.