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Rishabh Pant and Adam Gilchrist: A study in numbers

Rishabh Pant: A superstar in the making
Rishabh Pant: A superstar in the making
Divy Tripathi
ANALYST

Rishabh Pant’s third Test hundred, which came in the fourth game of Anthony De Mello trophy, added to his rising legend.

Having already secured a series win for India down under, Rishabh Pant rescued India from a spot of bother at 80 for 4, to help them put up a strong lead of 160. Along the way, he scored a scintillating 101, which included some unreal shots.

From his team-mates to former internationals, Rishabh Pant’s batting has made everyone sit down and take notice.

His explosive approach and the form that he has been in has made people compare him to former Australian wicket-keeper batsman Adam Gilchrist. The Australian legend was himself full of praise for the young Indian star.

A comparison between Rishabh Pant and Adam Gilchrist

Century with a six: Rishabh Pant brings his maiden Test ton with a six Ian Healy in action
Century with a six: Rishabh Pant brings his maiden Test ton with a six Ian Healy in action

The fact that the two are explosive left-handed keeper-batsmen is one of the many commonalities between the two.

Both were given their starts under the shadow of two giants who had served their countries well, Ian Healy and Mahendra Singh Dhoni.

Ian Healy in action versus England in Ashes 1994
Ian Healy in action versus England in Ashes 1994

While Gilchrist became a regular fixture in the Test squad in 1999, Rishabh Pant had to face competition for his spot from MS Dhoni in his first couple of years. The youngster has also had to compete for his place with Wriddhiman Saha in Tests and KL Rahul in One Day Internationals in recent times.

But as his stats after twenty Tests show, Rishabh Pant has delivered on his much-promised talent. It would be interesting to compare Rishabh Pant and Adam Gilchrist at this stage. After twenty Tests, Pant has scored 1358 runs at an average of 45. Gilchrist had scored 1290 runs at an average of 53.75.

Justin Langer (L) and Adam Gilchrist: The Heroes of Hobart
Justin Langer (L) and Adam Gilchrist: The Heroes of Hobart

This puts the two, very close to each other at this stage of their careers.

Interestingly, Adam Gilchrist too had three test hundreds after twenty tests. The first came against Pakistan in an epic chase at Hobart. Playing his very second Test, Adam Gilchrist scored an unbeaten 149 to help Australia overhaul their target of 369.

The second arrived in Australia’s record 16th Test win at Mumbai, where he lifted Australia from a spot of bother at 99 for five to help them reach 349. The third was in the Ashes encounter with England, where his 152 off 143 balls helped Australia take a 1-0 lead in the 2001 Ashes Test series.

Rishabh Pant’s first Test ton came against England in the Pataudi Trophy where he added a 204-run partnership with KL Rahul in the fourth innings, while India were chasing a target of 464. India lost the game but their gung-ho approach was applauded by one and all.

Rishabh Pant scored a fantastic 159 against Australia in 2019
Rishabh Pant scored a fantastic 159 against Australia in 2019

His second Test hundred (159*) helped India add up a total of 622 and ensured that Australia were out of contention in the Test. With that Test ending in a draw, India ended up regaining the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.

His latest ton has already been described above, and has ensured that India face-off against New Zealand in the World Test Championship Finals.

While Adam Gilchrist featured for an all-time great Australian team with the likes of Shane Warne, Steve Waugh, Ricky Ponting and Glenn McGrath in the team, Rishabh Pant is a member of a rising side which aspires to become the best in the world.

Adam Gilchrist was a great asset for the all-time great Australian cricket team
Adam Gilchrist was a great asset for the all-time great Australian cricket team

In his role as wicket keeper-batsman, Adam Gilchrist helped Australia find a way out of many troubling situations throughout his cricketing career. Indian team management will certainly be hoping that Rishabh Pant plays a similar role for the Indian cricket team.

It would also not be surprising if Rishabh Pant is made to move up the order given his batting prowess.

Adam Gilchrist ended his career with 5570 runs in 96 tests at a strike-rate of 82, Rishabh Pant has played a mere 20 tests but already looks the part for the Indian Test team for years to come.

Edited by Prem Deshpande
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