India are at 125/3 in the second innings and have a lead of 257 runs over England heading into Day 4 of the final Edgbaston Test. Cheteshwar Pujara reached his half-century before stumps on Day 3 while Rishabh Pant is batting on 30* (46).
Arriving to the crease following the dismissal of Virat Kohli, when India were at 75/3, Pant showed plenty of composure and reined himself in order to avoid a collapse. England tried their best to get Pant to play aggressive strokes and commit a mistake by introducing former captain Joe Root into the attack with his spin.
Root consistently bowled deliveries that spun away from him and tested his patience. He also had the psychological advantage going into this battle given that the part-timer had dismissed Pant for 146 in the first innings.
However, India’s maverick wicket-keeper didn’t give in to the temptation and had plenty of patience. He saw that Root was trying to induce a similar edge as the first innings and continued to leave balls without taking any risks.
Former Indian pacer Zaheer Khan praised Pant’s tactics and complimented him for reading the situation well and not going after the bowling attack during the closing moments of the day’s play on Sunday.
Speaking about Day 4, Zaheer believes that the 23-year-old will be his usual aggressive self as India will look to extend their lead in order to put a comfortable distance between them and English batters heading into the final stages of the final Test.
“I am sure Pant will bat a little more aggressively (on Day 4). On Sunday, he reined himself in since stumps were approaching and India wanted to end the day on a positive note. He did play some good flick shots when the ball was in his arc.”
On Team India’s overall approach on Day 4, Zaheer commented, “India will not be thinking about how much time is left in the Test as of now. It will just be about batting normally, adding runs and playing positively, just as they have been doing in the Test.
“A lot will also depend on how the pitch plays. They will look to play at least two sessions. However, if runs come quickly, then there could be a change in the game plan.”