Zaheer Khan has lauded Rishabh Pant for his ability to come up with centuries at a rapid pace. The wicket-keeper batter registered the fifth century of his career to rescue India from a difficult situation on Day 1 in Edgbaston, Birmingham.
Pant played with aggression despite India losing five wickets halfway through the day. His approach paid off as the England bowlers were put under pressure due to India's consistent flow of runs.
Pant, along with Ravindra Jadeja at the other end, put on a record partnership. The pair put on 222 runs for the sixth wicket and helped India to a sizeable score at the end of the day's play.
Highlighting the impact that Rishabh Pant has had on the Indian Test side so far, the former India pacer said on Cricbuzz:
"If you look at Pant's career so far, he has already played so many impactful innings. If you look at his centuries, all of them have gone on to change the course of the match. He has a long way to go and it is a huge positive that he is able to score hundreds at this pace on a consistent basis."
The former U-19 World Cup member has never been shy of playing his natural game, and now, he also has the team's backing.
Crediting Pant for the way he manages expectations as well as having faith in his own ability, Zaheer said:
"There has always been a x-Factor in Rishabh Pant's batting. He was known for this in his U-19 days as well. His reputation was already set like that. After that you have to constantly prove yourself at this level."
There have been highs and lows so far and there might be in the future as well, but the way which he handles the expectations, he has a reassurance about his ability."
Pant, who was on the verge of scoring the fastest 150 against England, perished against Joe Root. The left-handed batter edged one to slip while trying to go down the ground.
"I think they view him just like they view a specialist batter" - Zaheer Khan on Ravindra Jadeja
While Rishabh Pant went ballistic from one end, all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja held the fort from the other. Jadeja, who came into the series following an injury, absorbed the pressure and played in mature fashion. He registered his 17th Test fifty and is only 17 runs away from his first Test hundred away from home.
Believing that the management already view Jadeja as a specialist batter considering his returns with the bat over the last couple of years, Zaheer said:
"The balance in the team that you see is because the management trusts Jadeja's batting. I think they view him just like they view a specialist batter, because he has proved himself that way."
"We have seen in this series itself that the contribution from the lower order has been quite high."
India coasted their way to 323-7 at the end of the day's play earlier today (July 1) after 74 overs. Ravindra Jadeja is currently at the crease alongside Mohammed Shami, who will begin the proceedings on Day 2.