Pant surprised everyone when he reverse-flicked pacer Jofra Archer for a six after India were two down within the first four overs in the opening T20I against England on Friday.
In the fourth over, Pant played a reverse flick against Archer on the fifth ball that went over the keepers’ head for six. The shot left everyone surprised and former England skipper Kevin Pietersen termed it as the “greatest shot ever been played in cricket”.
“I think it is difficult for bowlers to bowl at. If you see what Pant and Dilshan did recently, it is something outrageous. Bowling at close to 150kmph having the gut to do that. It’s a last-moment shot as the bowler has to release and then the player has to play a shot,” Maharoof said in a virtual press conference ahead of the semifinal clash of the Road Safety World Series.
Sri Lanka Legends skipper Tillakaratne Dilshan also said that youngsters playing these innovative shots will excite crowds as spectators want to see new things.
“I think it is really good after this T20 cricket is introduced to the world. Youngsters want to do things differently. I tried to invent ‘Dil Scoop’ and people tried to do a reverse sweep, switch hit. It is a really good thing to see new batters challenging themselves. They have the confidence that’s why they are doing,” Dilshan said. “Crowd really wants to see different things. I’m really happy that newcomers are doing things differently,” he added.
Dishan further talked about his experience of playing in India and said, “It is a good feeling to play in India, big crowds cheering up and we are playing really good cricket which is important. We are enjoying our cricket really well. All 15 members of our squad are really good. We are looking to finish the next two games in the same manner.”
When asked about the Hipi challenge Maharoof said, “It was good, I lasted 25 seconds and it wasn’t that easy. I enjoyed the challenge. Something new, something unique and I’m sure Dilshan will also pick it up in the next few days.”
Sri Lanka Legends have qualified for the semi-finals after winning five games out of six in the tournament including four successive wins.