Say what you may, but no one electrifies the audience with his words like Ravi Shastri. As India’s head coach or as a commentator, everytime Shastri is on the mic, entertainment is guaranteed. Both times India lifted the World Cup – in 2007 and 2011 – Shastri was on the mic to make the occasion memorable. Heck, Shastri made Yuvraj Singh’s six sixes off Stuart Broad all the more epic and let’s face it, had someone else been on the mic, it would have a but if sheen away from it.
Although he may not have returned to the commentary box, not yet, Shastri gave fans a glimpse of what it would have been like had he called Rishabh Pant’s century on Day 3 of the Cape Town Test against South Africa. On Twitter, Shastri put out a congratulatory message for Pant, which if read in one go, would remind fans of his glorious days in the commentary box.
“Pant dazzles with a hundred of sheer daring brilliance and class. Simply magnificent young man. What an entertainer,” Shastri tweeted.
Shastri has been very vocal about Pant and his batting heroics. When the India wicketkeeper had tested positive for Covid-19 back during the tour of England, upon re-joining the team, Shastri welcomed Pant back with a garland. Following Pant’s exploits in Australia and at home against England last year, Shastri had spoken highly of the wicketkeeper batter.
“At 21, 22, or 23, I had similar success, so I can relate to as I scored hundreds overseas. What you can never take away is exuberance of youth. It’s only when the baggage comes of being a known quantity and that’s when life starts,” Shastri had told reporters.
“Rishabh Pant, he came in after IPL with a lot of baggage and that showed in his size and he had to lose that (weight) which he did. He worked his backside off. I can tell you that he has trained harder than anyone else, and results are not just for him to see but for world to see.”
Only eight days after being slammed for his shot against Lungi Ngidi in the Johannesburg Test, Pant registered his fourth Test century in Cape Town. This would arguably go down as one of Pant’s finest centuries given the conditions he scored these runs in. After Pant’s 100 not out, the next best score was Virat Kohli’s 29, which gives an idea how tough batting was for the Indians.