Tim Paine fires back at England with statement ‘Rishabh Pant played Bazball even before Bazball existed’

Rishabh Pant, Tim Paine

Former Australian cricketer Tim Paine took aim at the England national cricket team for their attacking approach in Test cricket. He said India’s wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant came out and played Bazball before the Ben Stokes-led team thought about it.

India’s wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant is arguably one of the most exciting batsmen to have played Test cricket. The left-hander has changed the dynamic of how red-ball cricket is played and is one of the main reasons behind the team’s success in recent times.

Rishabh Pant has played a magnificent brand of cricket for the Indian team and is one of the main reasons why his team won a series in Australia twice. He also played a crucial role in leveling the team in the series in England and also helped the team win a test match in South Africa.

Although he is still in the early stages of his Test career, Rishabh Pant has developed into one of the best wicketkeepers to have played the longest format of the game. The wicketkeeper-batsman has hit tons in Australia, South Africa and England and is potentially seen as India’s next Test captain.

After suffering a life-threatening accident in December 2022, Rishabh Pant is now back on the field. The wicketkeeper-batsman returned to cricket through the current Indian Premier League. The Delhi Capitals captain scored 18 runs in his comeback and looked fitter than ever as he too displayed sensational keeping skills.

Tim Paine praised Rishabh Pant for his aggressive batting style and said that he was the main factor behind India winning the series in Australia. Speaking to ESPN Australia, he stated:

“It’s hard to digest. We were unlucky in some ways. The series also represents the rise of Rishabh Pant, who played Bazball even before Bazball existed. Nathan Lyon, Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood were not used to that kind of attack from a batsman. He was a key factor in Team India’s victory. And like I said, his fast bowling actions have increased.”

During the same interaction, he also expressed his joy at seeing the keeper-batsman back, saying that he has always loved watching him play.

“It certainly was. Much has been said about the ordeal he went through and how close he came to losing a leg.

“Just seeing him come back on the field, as a cricket fan and a fan of Rishabh. I know we had our banter back and forth, it was really cheeky and a lot of fun. “I always had fun chatting with him off the field, I enjoyed watching him play.”

I played cricket like I always wanted to: Tim Paine on Rishabh Pant

Tim Paine further stated that he always wanted to play cricket like Rishabh Pant but admitted that he did not dare to play. The former wicketkeeper was also hoping to see Pant play in the Test series against Australia later this year. He explained:

“He played cricket like I always wanted to play. He didn’t have the courage to face the game or even the skill. I certainly appreciate what he brings to the game, the joy he brings to the fans of the Indian cricket team.

“I can’t wait to keep watching him and hope he’s fit and well enough to hit Australian shores over the summer.”

India will tour Australia later this year for the five-match Test series. The Rohit Sharma-led team would hope to win their third consecutive series. The series will be played from November 22 to January 7.