Watch: Rishabh Pant bludgeons David Willey for 5 fours in an over in 3rd ODI and quickly finishes the match for India
Rishabh Pant finished with 125 not out, winning the game with a reverse-swept boundary off Joe Root in the next over at Old Trafford.
Maverick Rishabh Pant pulled a short ball to square leg to notch up his maiden ODI ton in the series-decider against England at Old Trafford. It was mayhem in the middle for the next five deliveries he faced. The 24-year-old dasher seemed in the mood for demolition with India staring at an epic series win in Manchester. Also Read | Rishabh Pant eclipses MS Dhoni with magnificent 125 against England, leads India to ODI series win in Manchester
Pant, who was his usual free-flowing self, hammered David Willey for 21 runs including five sixes in the 42nd over, leaving India with just three to win in the remaining eight overs. With a wide array of strokes at his disposal, Pant went berserk against the English pacer and hit the first one over mid-off.
He followed it up with an audacious pull to square leg and a crunching drive through extra cover. Another pull made it four in four before the Indian whacked a half-volley down the ground, collecting five boundaries in as many deliveries.
Many anticipated Pant to finish the game with a sixth consecutive four but he nudged towards mid-wicket. The left-handed batter finished with 125 not out, winning the game with a reverse-swept four off Joe Root in the next over. India chased down a target of 260 with 7.5 overs to spare and scripted a 2-1 series success against the 50-over world champions.
India, led by Rohit Sharma, became only the third team to win an ODI series away to England since 2015. They had also claimed the previous Twenty20 assignment by a 2-1 margin.
"Hopefully, I remember (this knock) for the rest of my life. I was focusing on one ball at a time when I was batting. When your team is under pressure and you bat like that .. something I aspire to do," said Pant at the presentation ceremony.
"I always enjoy playing in England, at the same time enjoy the atmosphere and the situation. The more you play the more experience you gain," he added.
Pant, who notched up the highest score by an Indian wicketkeeper in a SENA nation, got excellent support from Hardik Pandya. The in-form all-rounder from Baroda made 71 after taking career-best figures of 4-24. He used the short-ball ploy against the home side, which folded for 259 despite captain Jos Buttler's 60.
Pant, who shifted gears towards the end, even hit a six off Willey while going down on one knee. He entered the 90s with the audacious shot and went on to get his first ODI century in 27 games. He hit 16 fours and two sixes before winning the game to the delight of Indian fans at the venue.