Pant reverse-flicks again, this time Archer for six (VIDEO)

New Delhi: Wicket-keeper batsman Rishabh Pant surprised everyone when he reverse-flicked pacer Jofra Archer for a six after India were two down within the first four overs in the opening T20I against England on Friday.

In the fourth over, Pant played a reverse flick against Archer on the fifth ball that went over the keepers’ head for six. The shot left everyone surprised and former England skipper Kevin Pietersen termed it as the “greatest shot ever been played in cricket”.

“Holy smokes! Pant has just played the greatest shot that’s ever been played in cricket. Reverse sweeping/lifting Archer with a brand new white ball at 90mph for 6,” Pietersen tweeted.

Interestingly, Pant had played a similar shot in the fourth and final Test against England where he had reverse flicked James Anderson for a six on his way to a match-winning ton. Former Indian all-rounder Yuvraj Singh hailed the “absolutely fearless” shot by Pant.

“This is the new generation !! Absolutely fearless ! Reverse sweep or shot I don’t know what to call it ! But @RishabhPant17 hats off to you to hit a fast bowler like that ! Game on !!” Yuvraj tweeted.

Meanwhile, India got off to the worst possible start as they lost three wickets before the completion of powerplay. While KL Rahul and Shikhar Dhawan all went cheaply, skipper Virat Kohli departed for a duck.

At the end of the six overs, India was 22/3, it is also the hosts’ second-lowest powerplay score in T20Is. Pant then along with Shreyas Iyer stitched a 28-run stand for the fourth wicket before he holed out to Bairstow leaving India at 48/4 in 10 overs. Shreyas continued his risk-free batting but Hardik Pandya creamed a six and a four as soon he came into bat. In the next five overs, India scored 35 runs without losing a wicket.

Shreyas soon joined the party and slammed back-to-back fours in Archer’s third over as India looked to finish off the innings on a high. The right-handed batsman scored his third half-century in just 36 balls as India crossed the 100-run mark in 17 overs. But Archer struck with two wickets in the 18th over as England staged a comeback. In the end, India was only able to score 124/7 in the 20 overs.

Brief Scores: India 124/7 (Shreyas Iyer 67, Rishabh Pant 21; Jofra Archer 3-23); England 130/2 (Jason Roy 49, Jos Buttler 28; Washington Sundar 1-18).

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