3rd Test: Cricket fraternity hails ‘biggest match winner’ Pant for ton vs SA
Rishabh Pant (100* from 139) scored his 4th Test century
He became the first Asian wicketkeeper to score a Test ton in South Africa
India were bundled out for 198, setting South Africa a target of 212 runs
Indian wicketkeeper batsman Rishabh Pant stood tall in the face of adversity to notch his fourth Test ton at Cape Town's Newlands Cricket Ground and give India a fighting chance in the decisive in third and final Test against South Africa on Thursday.
Pant came on to bat with India struggling at 58 for the loss of four and stitched a 94-run fifth wicket partnership with skipper Virat Kohli to stabilise the innings. Pant soon started running out of partners after Kohli's dismissal, as the lower order crumbled like a pack of cards under pressure from the South African pace attack.
He took the game to the Proteas bowling attack slamming six fours and four sixes en route to scoring 100 from 139 deliveries. His aggressive instinct paid off as he took on the bowlers from the off, bringing up his half-century in just 61 deliveries and completing his century in 133 balls.
Pant's counter-attacking innings constituted more than half of India's second innings total as the tourists were bundled out for 198 to set the Proteas a target of 212 runs.
Former cricketers and other experts took to Twitter to congratulate Pant on his feat.
"A simply outstanding knock by @RishabhPant17 at a crucial stage! Well done," Indian batting legend Sachin Tendulkar said.
Former Indian opener Virender Sehwag hailed Pant as India's "biggest match winner in Test cricket".
"Incredible 100 from #RishabhPant . Just two other batsmen reached double fingers and has single -handedly kept India in the game. Not just an ex-factor but one of India’s biggest match-winner in Test cricket," Sehwag tweeted.
Check out a few more reactions:
Pant also became the first Asian wicketkeeper-batsman to score a Test century in South Africa. Mahendra Singh Dhoni previously held the record for the highest score on South African soil by an Asian wicketkeeper-batsman - 90 during the 2010/11 season.
Three out of Pant's four Test centuries have come away from home - in England (2018), Australia (2021) and now South Africa (2022).
This was also the first instance in Test history where all 20 batters from a side were caught out, with all Indian batsmen recording the same mode of dismissal in both innings.