India wicketkeeper batsman Rishabh Pant has been on song with the bat and in tune behind the stumps as well. Pant’s hilarious banter, which has been caught on stump microphone, has kept everyone entertained in the India-England Test series.
Pant’s ‘stump commentary’ got plenty of attention from the fans during India’s tour of Australia in December-January. Among his many antics included randomly singing a song, or making a funny comment to lighten up the faces during a difficult phase of play.
The Delhi wicketkeeper played his role of part-wicketkeeper, part-chatterbox and part-cheerleader to best effect. A Twitter user made a compilation of Pant’s comments while Dan Lawrence took the strike during the first session of Day 2.
The stump-mic also caught Indian captain Virat Kohli passing words of encouragement to his spinners. After Lawrence got beaten by a delivery from Axar Patel, Pant could be heart saying, “Angle bahut tagda hai tera, khelna hi padega! (Your angle is brilliant, he has no option but to play).”
— Middle Stump Cricket (@MiddleStumpIND) February 14, 2021
On another occasion, when Lawrence had played on the backfoot on multiple deliveries, Pant told Axar, “Pehle hi peeche khada hai, muh pe bhi daal sakta hai isko! (He’s already standing behind, you can bowl at his face too).”
Other gems from Pant throughout the day included, “Ollie Pope ko Lollipop do, Ball ghoomega toh ye jhoomega (When ball turns, he will struggle), and Thoda sa aage, Milkha Singh bhaage.”
Rishabh Pant: “Thoda sa aage, thoda sa aage, Milkha Singh Bhage, Pyara Axar thoda jaage”
What a character Just give this guy a collar mike, we don’t need any commentators.#IndiavsEngland #RishabhPant #ViratKohli #TeamIndia pic.twitter.com/p9UhF4npq8
— FPeL-Bicho (@FPeL_Bicho) February 14, 2021
Meanwhile, teammate Ravichandran Ashwin came out to speak in support of Rishabh Pant. “He was constantly compared with the great MS Dhoni for a long time. Now he gets compared for his wicket-keeping with (Wriddhiman) Saha, this that and all that, sometimes it’s just better to give a break and let people build on confidence,” Ashwin said about Pant.
The seasoned off-spinner was speaking at the end of the second day’s play in the second Test between India and England, during which he collected his 29th five-for in Test cricket.
On his swashbuckling wicketkeeper-batsman, Ashwin continued, “With respect to Rishabh’s keeping, the name of the game is confidence right, he has been batting well, he has been working incredibly hard on his keeping as well…
“And sometimes, when you are constantly being compared to someone who has done well for years, it can be really hard, I really do feel for Rishabh, on a lot occasions, when I am watching games from home where he is playing the white-ball format.
“He has definitely got the ability, that is why he is here and I have no doubt he will go from strength to strength.”