'I am getting bored; try something outrageous' - Ravi Shastri reveals backstory of Rishabh Pant's reverse sweep off James Anderson

‘I am getting bored; try something outrageous’ – Ravi Shastri reveals backstory of Rishabh Pant’s reverse sweep off James Anderson

'I saw his eyes light up,' recalled Shastri.

Rishabh Pant
Rishabh Pant. (Photo by Alex Davidson/Getty Images)

Indian wicketkeeper-batter Rishabh Pant played one of the finest knocks of his international career when he slammed a ton against England on the first day of the Birmingham Test. While he received praises from many, former India head coach Ravi Shastri revealed one of his pep talks with Pant and said that it played a role in his game.

Pant played a variety of shots during his innings and put up a magnificent show on display. While three batters fell prey to English pacer Jimmy Anderson’s attack, Pant grabbed some good runs during the Englishman’s spell. One of the shots that he played was a reverse sweep which left everyone stunned.

“Last year, I was talking to Pant and I told him I am getting bored seeing you throwing it away in the same fashion every time, aren’t you bored as well? So why don’t you try something different, something more outrageous… like a reverse sweep maybe? And I saw his eyes light up. It’s very important to back a player’s ability,” said Shastri while commentating on Sky Sports.

Pant’s form in the game had been declining as he was unable to showcase his A-game during the IPL, and even later during the five-match T20I series against South Africa at home. But he has always taken the traditional format seriously and has put up remarkable performances. The ton against England on Friday was his fifth in the red-ball format.

“He reverse swept Jack Leach a couple of times. In the next Test, he did that against Anderson. Took a step ahead by reverse sweeping Jofra Archer, one of their fastest bowlers in the limited-overs series,” Shastri said while praising Pant for the style of shot.

What I liked today was the way he managed his innings: Ravi Shastri

The veteran was delighted by the way Pant managed his innings against England from the very first ball that he faced as he sought to assess the scenario beforehand and get an advantage. Once he was in place, he faced the rival bowlers and struck frequently by playing the ball to precision while occasionally hitting spectacular strokes.

“He doesn’t waste time – what I liked today was the way he managed his innings. He wasn’t prepared to take those high-risk shots early on. Even when he came down the track to Anderson it was measured. He knew exactly what he was doing and he’s that kind of player. He puts the pressure back on the opposition straight away,” Shastri added.