On this day in 2018, wicket-keeper batter Rishabh Pant got off the mark in Test cricket with his signature shot of smashing a spinner for a straight six.
It was the third game of the five-match series in England when Pant, on Test debut, charged down the track on the second ball of his innings and smashed Adil Rashid for a maximum.
Coming in for the out-of-form Dinesh Karthik, the southpaw scored 24 in his maiden Test innings. He also took seven catches in the game with the gloves as India registered a magnificent 203-run win at Nottingham to reduce the series deficit to 1-2. The 25-year-old became the 12th cricketer overall and the first Indian to get off the mark in Test cricket with a six.
Here is a video of the second-ball six by Pant that kickstarted his Test career:
Despite scoring only a single in the second innings, Pant immediately made headlines for his magnificent century in the final game at the Oval. After a string of low scores in his first five innings, the destructive batter came in at 121/5 and smashed 114 off 146 deliveries to set his Test career rolling.
Pant followed his maiden century with 92 in his next two innings against the West Indies at home. The Roorkee-born batter hasn't looked back since, elevating to arguably the biggest match-winner for India in the red-ball format.
In 33 Tests, Pant has scored over 2,000 runs at a terrific average of 43.67, with five centuries, including a century each in South Africa and Australia and two in England.
Rishabh Pant returns to the pitch after injury layoff
Rishabh Pant finally returned to the field after his long injury layoff and faced a few balls at the JSW Vijaynagar event. The talented wicket-keeper batter was injured in a car accident in December last year and has been sidelined ever since due to multiple ligament injuries.
Following the tragic injury, the 25-year-old underwent surgery and had his rehabilitation at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bangalore.
Pant has undergone minor activities to be back in shape and recently began his batting practice against high-speed deliveries.
Despite making considerable progress, it is unlikely that Pant will be fit to play in the ICC Cricket World Cup in India. According to a recent report by India Today, Pant could return in the five-Test series at home against England in January 2024.
The southpaw missed the IPL and the ICC World Test Championship final earlier this year.