IND vs SA: Rishabh Pant, India’s Most Prolific Wicket-Keeper Away From Home

Rishabh Pant once again etched his name in history by hitting a century in South Africa. This was his fourth Test century, and he played beautifully, taking 133 balls to get to his hundred even as wickets continued to tumble at the other end. He now has Test centuries in England, Australia and South Africa. Four Indian keepers have scored a total of seven centuries outside Asia, Pant has made three of those (one each in England, Australia and South Africa).

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Pant’s Overseas Centuries

159* AUSTRALIA SCG 2018/19
114 ENGLAND OVAL 2018/19

Pant scored a century in Sydney (159* in 2019), in Oval (114 in 2018), in Cape Town (100*). With this knock, he also became the only Indian wicket-keeper to score a century in South Africa. Previously, his mentor and former India Test captain MS Dhoni held the highest ever such score by an Indian keeper( 90, Centurion 2010/11). This is also the highest ever score by an Asian wicket-keeper as well. Previously, besides Dhoni’s knock, former Sri Lanka captain Kumar Sangakkara had scored 89 in 2002/03 while Bangladesh’s Liton Das had played a knock of 70 at Bloemfontein in 2017/18.

Also Read | Jasprit Bumrah Delivers in Style Yet Again to Lead India Out of Troubled Waters

Run Tally of Indian Wicketkeepers in Overseas Conditions

Player Span Mat Inns NO Runs HS Ave 100 50 0
MS Dhoni 2006-2014 48 83 7 2496 148 32.84 1 18 7
RR Pant 2018-2022 21 38 3 1236 159* 35.31 3 3 2
FM Engineer 1962-1974 20 39 2 1209 89 32.67 0 8 4
SMH Kirmani 1976-1986 40 58 7 1109 78 21.74 0 5 1
KS More 1986-1993 28 39 8 901 73 29.06 0 7 1
WP Saha 2012-2020 15 22 1 573 104 27.28 1 3 2

Pant played an unconventional knock in the series decider as India lost wickets in a heap. He walked in with the team losing Pujara and Rahane in short time intervals. It was a very Pant like innings as he quickly raced to his fifty even as his skipper Virat Kohli played the waiting game. Kohli took 127 balls to score just 29 runs, meanwhile Pant had reached 51 off 60! After Kohli departed, he had to slow down and take responsibility. It was a boring phase of the game as Pant denied singles to the tail enders like Bumrah and Shami to face bulk of the deliveries. In the end, he finally reached there as India were all out for 198. This meant South Africa chased 211.

As Sunil Gavaskar mentioned in the pitch report, anything above 200 could have been a formidable target, and it seems, India has done more than enough, thanks to Rishabh Pant.

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