HYDERABAD, Oct 13: Rishabh Pant�s audacious strokeplay complemented Ajinkya Rahane�s patient approach as India reached 308 for four against West Indies on the second day of the second Test on Saturday.
India are now only three runs short of West Indies� first innings total of 311. The Caribbean side could add only 16 runs in the morning session after Umesh Yadav polished off the tail with career-best figures of 6/88 in 26.4 overs.
While young Pant celebrated his ODI call-up with a second Test half-century, an attractive unbeaten 85 off 120 balls, vice-captain Rahane slogged hard to remain undefeated on 75 off 174 balls.
Together, the duo added 146 runs for the unbroken fifth wicket after India lost in-form skipper Virat Kohli (45) to be reduced to 163 for 4.
This was after young Prithvi Shaw lit up the morning, smashing his way to 70 off 53 balls to provide an initial momentum.
It was a day where India�s Gen-Next enthralled the 18,000 odd crowd with spectacular strokeplay.
Shaw�s cover and off-drive were treat for the eyes. The way he slashed Shannon Gabriel for a six over third man or stood on toes to smash Jason Holder through point was eerily similar to Virender Sehwag�s style of play. The 11 fours and a six were out of the top drawer.
For Pant, it was more about brute power. He hit back-to-back sixes off left-arm spinner Jomel Warrican (1/76), who had till his arrival had decent figures including the wicket of Shaw. There was a steer and sweep and a slog sweep off the senior leg-spin bowler.
When off-spinner Roston Chase dropped short, he cut it ferociously. When leg-spinner Devendra Bishoo flighted the ball, he took a step forward and smashed it through mid-off. He hit 10 fours and two sixes.
Pant�s approach also gave Rahane time to build his innings even though he never looked in control. However going to Australia, India needed its vice-captain to get some runs to his credit and he hung around to do the needful.
Rahane, on Indian subcontinent, has had problems facing spinners during last home season and here Pant was taking the spinners on most of the time while Rahane was seen more comfortable facing Gabriel for a lengthy period of time. The vice-captain hit six fours in his knock.
West Indies 1st Innings: 311
India 1st Innings: KL Rahul b Holder 4, Prithvi Shaw c Hetmyer b Warrican 70, Cheteshwar Pujara c sub (JN Hamilton) b Gabriel 10, Virat Kohli lbw b Holder 45, Ajinkya Rahane batting 75, Rishabh Pant batting 85. Extras: (B-12, LB-2, NB-5) 19. Total: (For 4 wickets in 81 overs) 308. Fall of wickets: 1-61, 2-98, 3-102, 4-162. Bowling: Shannon Gabriel 13-1-73-1, Jason Holder 14-2-45-2, Jomel Warrican 24-4-76-1, Roston Chase 9-1-22-0, Devendra Bishoo 19-4-72-0, Kraigg Brathwaite 2-0-6-0. � PTI