David Lloyd has branded Rishabh Pant's 101-run knock as 'exhilarating'. The former England cricketer added that the wicket-keeper-batsman turned the match on its head with his attacking display on Day 2 of the fourth Test.
With India reeling at 146-6 at one point on Friday, England were in with a good chance of stopping the hosts from overtaking their first innings total of 205. However, the 113-run partnership between Rishabh Pant and Washington Sundar took the match away from the visitors. Pant, in particular, stood out for the manner in which he thrashed James Anderson when England took the second new ball.
"The excellence of Jimmy Anderson and Ben Stokes kept England in this game for the first two sessions, but, boy, do they need support. That innings from Rishabh Pant turned the match on its head. It was exhilarating. He bided his time, then went after Anderson. That reverse-sweep over the slips was outrageous," David Lloyd wrote in his column for the Daily Mail.
India are in the driver's seat as they already lead by 89 runs and still have three wickets in hand. A win or a draw for India would secure their place in the ICC World Test Championship final, where they will meet with New Zealand.
David Lloyd explained that one England player who could replicate Rishabh Pant's flamboyance is Jos Buttler. However, the visitors decided to send Buttler home after the first Test in Chennai, owing to their rotation policy.
"Have England got a player who can produce that kind of innings? I think they have: Jos Buttler. But he’s at home. When he comes back, I just hope they take the shackles off him. Having a hitter in your side can win you Tests," Lloyd added.
Jos Buttler will return to India soon as he has been picked for the five-match T20I series, starting from 12th March.