England’s assistant coach Paul Collingwood was all praise for Rishabh Pant’s ‘world-class’ innings which rescued India from shaky 98 for five and then took them to ascendancy on Day 1 of the fifth Test at Edgbaston in Birmingham on Friday.
“Today was a great day, I don’t feel our backs were against the wall for too long, but hats off to the way Pant played,” Collingwood said in a press conference.
Pant smashed his way to 146 off 111 deliveries as the visitors raced to 338 for seven after being sent in to bat. “When you’re up against world-class players, they can do world-class things. It’s been another exciting day of Test cricket, we’ve had three exciting games against New Zealand and the first day here has been exactly the same,” he added.
Collingwood, however, said that they are not intimidated by India’s recovery on the first day in this Test against the Three Lions. “Brendon has said from the very start he’s looking at the bigger picture of Test cricket and for it to survive we’ve got to make it a lot more entertaining. Today was exactly that – there were wickets and runs, great catches and when you watch someone as exciting as Pant, you’ve got to applaud,” he added.
“I wouldn’t necessarily say we went wrong today, but what we’ve found is once the ball goes soft after 30-40 overs it can be very difficult to take wickets if it’s not going off straight,” said Collingwood. For England, James Anderson managed to pick up three wickets before the carnage during a 222-run stand between Pant and Ravindra Jadeja. Matthew Potts bagged two wickets.
The century of Pant totally transformed the face of the game as India went on to dominate the second and third sessions. After Pant’s departure, England were able to remove Shardul Thakur as well, providing them with some control of the game at the end of day one. India will start the second day of the fifth Test match with 338/7 on board with Jadeja and Mohammad Shami batting at the crease.