'There Was Guy Called Rishabh Pant,' Rohit Sharma Takes Witty Dig At Ben Duckett's Bazball Comment For Yashasvi Jaiswal

India will face England in the fifth and final Test in Dharamshala starting from March 7.

'There Was Guy Called Rishabh Pant,' Rohit Sharma Takes Witty Dig At Ben Duckett's Bazball Comment For Yashasvi Jaiswal

India's captain, Rohit Sharma, faced the press confidently ahead of the 5th Test against England in Dharamsala. When questioned about England batter Ben Duckett's remarks regarding the credit for Yashasvi Jaiswal's aggressive batting, Rohit responded assertively. He reminded everyone, with a touch of humor, of Rishabh Pant's explosive batting prowess. Rohit suggested that perhaps the England team, particularly Ben Duckett, had not witnessed Pant's batting displays, leading to such comments. In his response, Rohit skillfully delivered a message while maintaining a light-hearted tone, emphasizing India's strength in batting, particularly Pant's aggressive style.

"There was a guy called Rishabh Pant in our team, probably Ben Duckett hasn't seen him play," Rohit said when asked about the comment made by the England batter. (IND vs ENG 5th Test: Rohit Sharma Makes Big Statement On Playing 11 As Rajat Patidar Is Likely To Play In Dharamsala)

Yashasvi Jaiswal has been India's standout performer in the series, amassing 655 runs in four matches with an impressive average of 94.57 and a strike-rate of 78.63. During the Rajkot Test, his boundary-laden innings caught the attention of England's Ben Duckett, who attributed Jaiswal's aggressive approach to the influence of England's 'Bazball' style of play.

"When you see players from the opposition playing like that, it almost feels like we should take some credit that they're playing differently than how other people play Test cricket," Duckett had said.

No praise is enough for Ravichandran Ashwin, said captain Rohit Sharma on Wednesday, lauding the off-spinner ahead of his 100th Test as a "rare" talent critical for the team's success. The fifth and final Test against England, starting on Thursday, is inconsequential to the final outcome of the series as India have already taken an unbeaten 3-1 lead. But it has become significant due to the 100-Test milestone set to be achieved by Ashwin and England batter Jonny Bairstow.

"(It's a) big achievement for any player to play 100 Tests. It is a big milestone. He has been a match winner for us. What he has done for us, no praise is enough," Rohit said on the eve of the match.

"His performances over the last five-seven years, every series he has contributed. It is rare to have players like him," he added.

"I want to congratulate him for his 100 test landmark, of course to get near it as the toss hasn't happened. It feels good to reap rewards of your hard work," the skipper said.

They have been national teammates for close to a decade and half but it was more than 20 years back when a then precocious Mumbai off-spinner Rohit was pitted against talented opener Ashwin in Vijay Merchant (U-16) and Cooch Behar Trophy (U-19).

"As a captain, I have seen him since U-19, U-17 days. He batted at that time, was an opener and then he started bowling. And I used to bowl (off-spin) and then became a batsman, so it became up and down for us but it has been good for Indian cricket."

Ashwin, the "cricket scientist", has evolved a lot in these 14 years, feels Rohit.

"As a cricketer, he (Ashwin) has evolved in his game and he has a lot of intelligence and if you get a player like this in the team then you don't have to think too much. If you give the ball to him, then he drives the game. How to bowl, what field to set and what to do, I am talking about the planning during the game."

The Indian skipper also spoke about how process-driven R Ashwin is.

"What you see on the field is the result of a lot of off-field stuff and the work done on one's bowling. I have often seen him bowling with just one stump before a match -- one hour 45 minutes before a game. Bowling at one stump a day before a Test. This is cricket's basics. I have seen him bowl regularly at one stump and this has been a process for him. And the biggest thing is that he is a big team player and we saw that in Rajkot Test, when it was a difficult situation for him, but he called and said 'I want to come back and do something for the team'. You see this rarely, and when you have players like this, then your head is held high."

Ashwin, who recently became only the second Indian after Anil Kumble to cross 500 wickets in the game's longest format, made his Test debut in 2011 and has enjoyed more highs than lows during a 13-year journey.