There are short trunks in life and writing about the smart innings of Reshab Pint is one of those short legs. I’m not unhappy that a clever inning of silk pints is still the most tireless of all Sir Alastair Cook’s (the laptop doesn’t allow me to value more than typing “fun”. More interesting than the valuable innings … (No, I’m not naming Dom Sibley, Azhar Ali, Chhattisgarh Pujara, Dan Elgar, Craig Bravoite or Jeffrey Boycott here).
He has made 3 runs off 4 balls, the second fastest 4 runs by an Indian in England, none of which is true from a single wicket. And yes, he started the innings with James Anderson facing the charge of the first ball. He put it inside for a single, perhaps the least knowledgeable but most interesting unit you’ll see in this year’s tests. And his first bond was another black in Anderson and a drive directly against him. To apologize – in the subcontinent we have been taught from an early age to have great respect for elders and to leave us there.
And he also tried to sweep Ben Stokes on a ball but failed. Most batsmen may show some frustration and go down twice in defense from the next ball. Punt tried to get himself to such a wide ball that if he had used it as a bat as Mohammad Irfan would not have reached it. He ended up with this one shot, this interesting combination of chip, dab and cut that went over the point and looked like no shot had ever been played before. Joe Root talked about rewriting the coach’s guide a few weeks ago after hitting a few sixes: At the same time, Punt breaks a new guide every time he comes out to bat.
The arrival of Jack Leach, who set his own record against Punt before this Test – 88 off 59 balls – was a sign that even England were a bit smarter this innings. Consecutively, four, four, six; 5 runs on 4 balls between charge and loot leaving the paint flat on the back. Also in the middle, a hand-to-hand six in an over that costs 22. At this point England turned a blind eye and pulled a man out into the long on and he was still hitting sixes. But, I mean give a four-year-old a can of soda at 8pm on a Saturday night and see how smart it is?
But when he reached fifty from his thighs with this ruthless club that looked like he might get a single, then two because it was a good time, but then the fielder stopped to stand at the deep-seated league boundary. And couldn’t because it was time. Well, it felt right too. It was a clever, tasteless, frolic shot. Even in a close ball, this fiftieth was here, take this Les Paul guitar, drop this marshal amp and volume to just one when you’re good?
I swear it was really smart pants. Choosing his fights, choosing his field, choosing his shots (right, not always), running enthusiastically, not forgetting easy runs, all the things that destroy you. In the middle of the shootout he would be walking with the bat on his left shoulder and in some minds it would carry him like an ax, but really it makes a lot of sense to think about it like he’s a boom box. Moves. With volume reduction.
He took four shots of 3 to 4 runs, in fact he is the only batsman in the world who can make eight runs in a single day. And when he reached the century, he sank for the second time like Steve Waugh, pushing like the most important thing in the world to run and not like the batsman who has been out five times in the 90s. . It was 100 percent cricket.
Even after tea when the numbers tell us that it was not a silk pint innings but a silk pint pure innings (he made 53 runs in 52 overs and then 93 runs in 59 overs). Pint did not do the work of Pint. He distinguished Matthew Pots in a way that was positively well-behaved: a stand and defining cover drive, two smart back kits, a few well-behaved bridges, a wave through the midwicket. No risk has been taken, nothing remarkable about these shots and yet six fours in 17 balls and England’s best bowlers have been seen this summer.
When Joe Root hit him and he hit four runs, it was Root who wasn’t smart. Punt played the smartest shot. Which, of course, made the video an overnight sensation. Punt’s intelligence isn’t just other people’s intelligence.
Osman Samiuddin is the senior editor at ESPNcricinfo