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IND v ENG 2021: “Surprised that Jack Leach didn’t bowl more to Rishabh Pant”

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On Day 2 of the 4th Test between India and England, Rishabh Pant conjured an incredible 101-run knock, which was studded with 13 fours and two sixes. In the process, the wicket-keeper catapulted India from a position of insecurity to one of dominance, meaning that the hosts established a 89-run lead at the close of play.

At the start of his essay, Rishabh Pant looked a tad tentative, especially against James Anderson. Moreover, there were quite a few rough patches outside Rishabh Pant’s off-stump – areas that could’ve been exploited by Jack Leach.

Thus, plenty felt that Jack Leach, despite his record against Rishabh Pant would be entrusted with that particular responsibility in the third session. But the above didn’t materialize, leaving the cricketing fraternity, including England’s spin bowling coach Jeetan Patel, amazed.

“It wasn’t a plan. I was just as surprised as you are. I would’ve loved to see that battle between Rishabh Pant and Jack continue. With two right arm off-spinners, spinning the ball away and that he has gotten out to off spinners before, we thought it was an opportunity use two off spinners and attack his outside edge and also his pad. We also created opportunities and they just didn’t go our way,” Jeetan Patel responded to a question from Sportskeeda.

Rishabh Pant ripped Jack Leach to shreds during the 1st Test

To put things into perspective, Rishabh Pant and Jack Leach have enjoyed a splendid contest during the ongoing series. While the former tore into the spinner during the 1st innings of the 1st Test, the Englishman returned to get the better of Rishabh Pant in the 2nd innings of the 2nd Test.

Since then, both have been willing to play the waiting game against the other, meaning that fireworks, akin to those that ensued during the first encounter, have been in short supply.

As things stand, India lead England by 89 runs and still have 3 wickets in the shed. Thus, the hosts seem to be in the ascendancy and barring any calamity, might just have enough quality to confirm their spot in the final of the ICC World Test Championship final.

Published 05 Mar 2021, 18:11 IST

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