5 December 2023
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Rishabh Pant gave Ben Stokes’ England a taste of their own medicine with a superb counter-attacking century as India recovered from a top-order collapse on Friday’s opening day of the delayed fifth Test at Edgbaston.

Recalled England great James Anderson and fledgling quick Matthew Potts shared five wickets between them to reduce India to 98-5 after Stokes won the toss under overcast skies in Birmingham.

But Pant responded with a brilliant 146 and together with fellow left-hander Ravindra Jadeja, 83 not out, shared a sixth-wicket partnership of 222 that helped India to 338-7 at stumps.

England came into this match on the back of a 3-0 series win over Test world champions New Zealand notable for the aggressive, fearless approach they demonstrated under their new leadership duo of captain Stokes and red-ball coach Brendon McCullum.

Pant, however, has been playing ‘Baz ball’, as England’s new style has been dubbed in honour of the McCullum’s nickname, pretty much his entire career.

He was especially severe on Jack Leach on Friday, swinging himself off his feet while slogging a four and later driving the left-arm spinner one-handed for six in an over costing 22 runs.

Leach, fresh from a 10-wicket haul in the third Test against New Zealand, conceded an expensive 71 runs in nine…

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Abdul Gh Lone