Pant is on a roll in Test cricket; his attacking style suits the large open spaces in Test matches and clearly, he has attained most of his India success in the longest format.
With this sizzling knock, where he brought up his ton in 89 deliveries, Pant entered into record books of Indian cricket in the lists of the fastest Test centuries; what made it more spectacular was that he did it in overseas conditions.
With his aggressive nature of batting, some have even predicted that Pant will one day break Brendon McCullum’s record for the fastest Test hundred, which came off 54 balls. For India, it is former skippers Kapil Dev and Mohammad Azharuddin who hold the record for the fastest Test century – off 74 balls each but both came at home.
Here we look at the top three fastest hundreds by Indian men’s cricketers outside ASIA:
Virender Sehwag: 78 balls vs WI, Gros Islet 2006
One of the most memorable knocks of Virender Sehwag’s career, was when he the former opener blew away the West Indies bowlers to smithereens in the 2006 Test at the Beausejour Stadium, Gros Islet, St Lucia.
Skipper Rahul Dravid won the toss and elected to bat first on a decent surface. Sehwag made full use of the conditions and attacked from the onset. He reached his fifty in quick time, off 33 balls; brought up his century in 78 balls and finished with 180 off 190 balls, setting up a big score of 361/4 by Stumps on Day 1. Centuries from Dravid and Kaif helped India to a gigantic total of 588.
India bowled West Indies out for 215 in their first innings and enforced the follow-on. However, the hosts valiantly batted in their second innings for 119 overs and lost 7 wickets, managing to draw the game. Sehwag’s knock still remains the fastest Test century by an Indian outside Asia.
Mohammad Azharuddin: 88 balls vs England, Lord’s 1990
The then-India captain Mohammad Azharuddin recorded his second fastest hundred, off 88 balls (his fastest came in 74 balls vs South Africa in Kolkata in 1996). This knock came against England at Lord’s on the 1990 trip.
Azharuddin had made a horrible call at the toss when he elected to bowl first; England went on to pile up 653 runs. The captain, though, stood firm with the bat, smashing an 88-ball ton but couldn’t score more than 121, and with Shastri also hitting a century, India made 454.
However, with a big lead, England batted again and gave India a target of 472, which the visitors fell 247 short of.
Rishabh Pant: 89 balls vs England, Edgbaston 2022
As England cricket rode on the high of Baz-ball, it was the Rishabh Pant-ball that hit them hard on Day 1 of the Edgbaston Test, 2022. Pant took India’s total from 98/5, in a stunning 222-run partnership with Jadeja off 239 balls, and propelled them to over 300 by the time he got out.
He had notched up his fifty in 51 balls before going beserk and raised his ton off 89 deliveries before further rumbling to 146 off 111 in what was one of his most memorable knocks.