Team India’s wicketkeeper-batter Rishabh Pant is celebrating his 25th birthday on Tuesday,October 4. The left-hander is considered among the most talented cricketers of the current generation. He has already made a big impression in international cricket, especially in Test matches.
Having made his debut for India in 2017, he has played 31 Tests, 27 ODIs and 61 T20Is. The left-hander has 2123 runs to his name in Test matches at an average of 43.32. He already has five hundreds in the format, with four of them being away from home.
In ODIs, he has scored 840 runs at an average of 36.52 and a strike rate of 108.80. He scored a terrific ton in Manchester during the deciding ODI against England in July. Rather ironically, the batter has had a disappointing T20I career so far. After 61 matches, he averages 23.94 at a strike rate of 126.21.
Only 25, Pant already holds a number of impressive records in international cricket. On his birthday, we look at five prominent ones.
#1 Fastest century by an Indian wicketkeeper-batter in Tests
Pant holds the record for having smashed the fastest hundred by an Indian wicket-keeper batter in Test matches. During the rescheduled Test against England at Edgbaston in July this year, he reached three figures in 89 balls. The earlier record was held by MS Dhoni, who scored a 93-ball 100 against Pakistan in Faisalabad in 2006.
Pant went on to smash 146 from 111 balls in India’s first innings at Edgbaston. He featured in a 222-run stand with Ravindra Jadeja (104) to help India recover from 98 for five to post 416. The keeper-batter also scored 57 in the second innings, breaking Clyde Walcott’s 72-year-old record for the highest amount of runs scored in a Test match in England by a visiting wicketkeeper.
Walcott scored a total of 182 runs in a Test against England at Lord's in 1950. Pant ended the Edgbaston Test with 203 runs. His heroics went in vain, though, as the hosts chased down 378, courtesy of unbeaten hundreds from Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow.
#2 Fastest Indian keeper to 100 Test dismissals
Pant broke another Dhoni record when he became the fastest Indian wicketkeeper to reach 100 dismissals in Test matches. He achieved the feat during the Centurion Test against South Africa in December 2021. When Temba Bavuma edged a delivery off Mohammed Shami on Day 3, Pant registered his 100th dismissal as a keeper.
He needed only 26 matches to reach the milestone (92 catches and eight stumpings). Dhoni, on the other hand, got there in 36 Tests. The former India captain ended his Test career with 294 dismissals (256 catches and 38 stumpings) from 90 Tests. Pant has 122 dismissals (111 catches and 11 stumpings) to his name from 31 Tests.
#3 First Asian keeper-batter to score an ODI and Test century in England
Following his terrific 125 not out off 113 balls in the Manchester ODI, Pant became the first keeper-batter from Asia to score a Test and ODI hundred in England. The 25-year-old smashed 16 fours and two sixes in the Manchester ODI as India chased down 260 with five wickets in hand to clinch the three-match series 2-1.
Earlier, the southpaw had hammered 146 in the first innings of the rescheduled Test at Edgbaston. This was Pant’s second Test hundred in England. He had earlier smashed 114 at The Oval during the 2018 tour.
Pant is also the first Indian keeper-batter to score a hundred in Australia. He scored an unbeaten 159 in the 2019 Sydney Test.
#4 Joint world-record holder for most catches in a Test match
Pant jointly holds the record for having taken the most catches in a Test match. He took 11 catches in the Adelaide Test against Australia in December 2018. England’s Jack Russell (vs South Africa in Johannesburg - 1995) and South Africa's AB de Villiers (vs Pakistan in Johannesburg - 2013) are the only other keepers to have taken 11 catches in a Test match.
Pant equaled the world record when he took a catch offered by Mitchell Starc off Mohammed Shami's bowling in the second innings. The keeper had six catches to his name in the first innings of the Test and five in the second.
Wriddhiman Saha (10 catches against South Africa in Cape Town - 2018) held the previous record for most catches by an Indian keeper in a Test match.
#5 Fastest Test fifty by an Indian
Considering the swashbuckling manner in which he bats, this record is not surprising. Pant broke Kapil Dev’s record for the fastest Test fifty by an Indian on the second day of the day-night match against Sri Lanka in Bengaluru in March this year.
The aggressive left-hander clobbered a fifty in only 28 balls with a boundary off Praveen Jayawickrama through extra cover. With it, he eclipsed Kapil’s record, who had smashed a 30-ball half-century against Pakistan in the Karachi Test of 1982.
Pant was dismissed immediately after he reached his fifty, giving a return catch to Jayawickrama. India, however, went on to win the Test by 238 runs. The keeper-batter was named Player of the Series for scoring 185 runs in three innings at an average of 61.67 and a strike rate of 120.13.