ENG versus IND 2022 | Rishabh Pant is building a reputation as a match-finisher, notes Zaheer Khan

Zaheer Khan has praised Rishabh Pant’s ability to see games through to the very end when he kicks in, saying the batsman makes it his trademark for playing big game shots. He went on to praise his partnership with Hardik Pandya in the third ODI and the impact of those displays on other players.

Zaher Khan became the latest expert to join the Rishab Panting hype train after the wicket-beater keeper put on a sensational display of victory in the decisive third ODI against England at the Old Trafford cricket ground on Sunday. The youngster’s first century ODI came as a 113-ball 125, going unbeaten for the majority of innings and hitting the winning runs.

This display was just another addition to Pant’s collection of crucial shots to save the team from dire straits in important games, having done so before on the Australia and England tours. However, it was notably the 24-year-old’s first international white-ball century, finally overcoming criticism of not being able to translate his red-ball form into overrun cricket.

“What he builds a reputation on is that ‘when I’m in it, I’ll finish the game for you’. So that’s the kind of character he showed not just in white-ball cricket, but also in test matches regularly, and this was his first century in the ODIs, so this round will definitely give him that boost to continue doing it’s a habit to have these kinds of races. this happens, the mid-order firepower is going to be boosted even more,” Zaheer Khan explained on Cricbuzz.

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Pant entered the match as India were shocked at 21/2 and eventually fell to 72/4. Joined by Hardik Pandya, the duo put together a mammoth partnership of 133 runs for the fifth wicket, the latter contributing with a brilliant 71 from just 55 deliveries. Pant took the reins after his partner-in-crime left, scoring his last 60 runs from just 31 balls to lead India to a famous five-wicket victory. Both batsmen have received praise from the former Indian pacemaker for their maturity.

“This partnership has been a winning partnership. You see, overall the game was superb. It was an even fight between bat and ball. The way England started, there was a lot of pressure. What matters is the character they show (Pant and Pandya). Absorb the pressure and build a partnership and one of them will finish the game, that’s the example you’d like to set for everyone in the lineup,” noted Khan.

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