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England coach Collingwood gives massive compliment to Rishabh Pant

Rishabh Pant

Edgbaston, July 2 (UITV/IANS) England assistant coach and former cricketer Paul Collingwood gave a massive compliment to young wicketkeeper-batter Rishabh Pant who bailed India out from a precarious situation with a superb century in the rescheduled fifth Test at Edgbston on Friday.

Pant produced a phenomenal innings of 146 runs off just 111 balls rescuing India from a very difficult position on the opening day of the Test. His partnership with Ravindra Jadeja (83 not out) started with India struggling at 98/5, eventually helping the team past the 300-run mark with a magnificent 222-run stand for the sixth wicket.

"I take my hat off to the way that Pant played. When you play against world-class players, they can do world-class things. And today he had his day," said Collingwood after the opening day's play.

Collingwood added that while Pant and Jadeja's 222-run partnership might have frustrated the home team bowlers on the opening day, it didn't mean that England were at a disadvantage now.

"Today was a great day," Collingwood said as India closed the day on 338/7. "I don't feel as if our backs were against the wall for too long. I think the batsmen should be excited about batting on that wicket. It will be a great result if we keep them down to 360, 370," Collingwood was quoted as saying by theguardian.com.

"I wouldn't necessarily say anything went wrong. What we've found in the three games against New Zealand is that once the ball goes quite soft after 30 or 40 overs it can be very difficult to take wickets... we were unable to get the ball to do anything off the straight, and there was some amazing strokeplay," opined Collingwood, who had played the role of interim head coach when England had toured the West Indies recently, before Brendon McCullum took over the job.

Collingwood also said that Pant's fifth Test ton was an indication that Test cricket is changing fast.

"Pant came out to play a bit of Bazball (comparison with Brendon McCullum, the England Test head coach) as everyone keeps calling it. When you have a bit of moisture in the pitch early on, you have a chance to take early wickets, which is what we did. We're going against the grain of much of the cricket that's been played over the last 100 years... We are trying to play as positive as possible, and play entertaining cricket. Ben (Stokes) is not going to take a backwards step.

"(McCullum) said right from the start about the bigger picture of Test cricket and that for it to survive, we've got to make it much more entertaining, and today's cricket was entertaining. There were wickets, there were runs, there were great catches. When you're watching someone as entertaining as Pant, you've got to applaud an innings like that," added Collingwood.