For Rishabh Pant, the Edgbaston Test has been quite memorable, thus far. After guiding India to a competitive total against England in the first innings, Pant on Monday, only became the second Indian wicketkeeper to score a century and a fifty in the same Test match after Farokh Engineer.

At the Brabourne Stadium in February, 1973, Engineer had scored 121 in the first innings against England and followed it up with a 66 in a drawn fifth Test. And 49 years later, Pant joined the club with a similar feat as he remained unbeaten on 52 in the second innings after hammering a 146 in the first essay.

Sitting faraway in Bilbao, Engineer was happy to see his ‘favourite’ Pant entering the club. “I am delighted for Rishabh. He is a fantastic cricketer. I thought maybe MS Dhoni would have done it, but I am surprised that it took so long for an Indian wicketkeeper to equal that record,” Engineer told  Sportstar .

“I have always thought of Rishabh as a fabulous batter, and a fabulous young man, even though I have met him only once. He has got the measure and responsibility because earlier, he would throw away his wicket so many times. I used to tell myself, 'He is so talented, why doesn't he just play the right shot?' He has got such good eyes and is such a good entertainer.”

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“There were no helmets and the bats were like  chai ka dabba s and did not have a sweet spot” during Engineer's playing days. Moreover, it was a challenge to tackle the likes of Geoff Arnold, Chris Old and Derek Underwood.

“In our times, I loved to entertain the crowd and every time they would chant, ‘sixer, sixer’, Salim Durani and myself would not only hit sixes but would also hit the ball in the stands where the spectators were cheering for us. They loved it and we could call it six on demand,” Engineer reminisced.

In the 29 Tests that he featured in, Durani hit 15 sixes, while Engineer hit two sixes in 46 Tests.

The former India stumper-batter is in awe of Pant’s heroics. “I will be there at the ground for the first two ODIs at The Oval and Lord’s later this month and when I see Pant, I will give him a big hug and say, ‘Keep it up! Next time, I want you to score a hundred in each innings’. The way he is going about his business, I am glad that he has been given more responsibility and he certainly is taking his game very seriously.”


“He is such a fine young man and I must say, he has improved a lot in his wicketkeeping as well. Dhoni wasn’t a great wicketkeeper when he started, but look at the way he improved. Similarly, Rishabh is working on his wicketkeeping very hard and I can see that. But as a package, just like Dhoni, Rishabh is a tremendous asset for India, who can score a hundred like that against a good bowling unit,” Engineer said.