Paul Collingwood doffs his hat to world-class Rishab Pant for playing a world-class innings: He had his day

Former England captain called upon the words of Test coach Brendon McCullum at the end of the first day of the fifth Test match between India and England, stating that Rishabh Pant’s innings are crucial for Test cricket to survive.

The Indian left hander rescued his team from 98/5 and took them to a dominant position at the end of day’s play, scoring an exceptional counter-attacking 146 off 111 balls. Pant, the vice captain of India for this Test, combined with Ravindra Jadeja for the sixth wicket and hit 222 runs, highest for the sixth wicket by an Indian team in England.

“[McCullum] said right from the start about the bigger picture of Test cricket and that for it to survive, we’ve got to make it much more entertaining, and today’s cricket was entertaining. There were wickets, there were runs, there were great catches. When you’re watching someone as entertaining as Pant, you’ve got to applaud an innings like that,” Collingwood said.

“I take my hat off to the way that Pant played. When you play against world-class players, they can do world-class things. And today he had his day,” he further added.

The T20 World Cup-winning said that batsmen should be fairly excited to bat in this track and it will be a great result if England restrict India below 370.

“I don’t feel as if our backs were against the wall for too long. I think the batsmen should be excited about batting on that wicket. It will be a great result if we keep them down to 360, 370,” he said.

Collingwood compared Pant’s approach to England’s ‘Bazball’, a term given for Brendon McCullum’s style of aggressive cricket, something that England have adapted in the summer.

“Pant came out to play a bit of Bazball, as everyone keeps calling it,” said Collingwood. “When you have a bit of moisture in the pitch early on, you have a chance to take early wickets, which is what we did. We’re going against the grain of much of the cricket that’s been played over the last 100 years We are trying to play as positive as possible, and play entertaining cricket. Ben [Stokes] is not going to take a backwards step.”

India will start their second day at 338/7 with Ravindra Jadeja at the crease, batting at 83*. He will hope to complete his century after a hard day’s toil and hopefully take India over 400.

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