Rishabh Pant’s century helped India recover to 338 for 7 on day one of the rescheduled fifth Test against England at the Edgbaston on Friday.

Having faced criticism for his struggles in white-ball cricket recently, Pant continued his love affair with the red-ball format by smashing his fifth century overall and fourth in overseas conditions.Pant scored 146 off 111 balls and put on a staggering exhibition of counterattacking to make the first day of the series-decider undoubtedly India’s.

Stokes fancied Leach’s chances against Pant but the ploy failed miserably as the southpaw collected boundaries off the left-arm spinner at will. Leach ended up with day’s figures of 0/71 in nine overs. Pant went ballistic in what happened to be Leach’s last over of the day, clobbering him two sixes and as many fours.

When asked about the onslaught on Leach, Pant said he go after the ball not the bowler.

“I don’t focus on the bowler; I focus on what he is bowling. It is not pre-planned that I have to after this bowler, If I feel I can hit the ball, I do that,” Pand told reporters at the press conference.

With a couple of hundreds in England, one each in Australia and South Africa, Pant has already walked into the list of the finest wicketkeeper-batters to have come out of India.

At one stage India were reeling at 98 for five, but Pant in the company of Ravindra Jadeja (83 batting off 163) shared a match changing 222-run stand off 239 balls. Pant, who rendered the England bowlers helpless, hammered 20 boundaries and four sixes, in his awe-inspiring effort.

I like the opposition (England) but I do not think about it much. I just look to give my 100 per cent in every match. My focus is on the cricket I play,” said Pant.

“From childhood, my coach Tarak sir told me that you can hit the ball, but work on your defence as well. I keep working on my defence, in Test cricket, defence is important.

“Every ball you cannot hit, so i keep focusing and if i think I need to defend, I defend and if I think I can hit the ball, I hit the ball. Putting the bad ball away is also important, if the bowler is bowling well, then giving him respect is also a good sign. I try to play to the merit of the ball,” he added.

Pant made his intent loud and clear by advancing and smashing Anderson down the ground. He never allowed any bowler to settle down.

“Especially in conditions like England, where you know the bowler is bowling well, then it becomes important to disturb his line and length. I keep trying that I do not play in the same manner so that the bowler gets mentally disturbed,” he said.

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“As a player, I look to give my 100 percent, I try to play my percentage, if I feel if it’s there for me to try a different shot or hit the ball, I tend to back it. I have focused on that and it’s helping me, I guess,” he added.