Rishabh Pant stunned one and all with his heroic counter-attacking knock on day 5 of the ongoing New Year’s Test at the Sydney Cricket Ground.
Not one Indian supporter would have thought that the left-hander would come in to bat at no. 5 and would give India hopes of an unlikely win with a target of over 400 runs. But he did.
Pant scored a quickfire 97 in 118 balls with 12 fours and 3 sixes. He came in to bat when Team India looked for options to save them the Test match and by the time he left, they were looking at scoring around 3 runs per over to win the game.
Among many, this knock inspired former England cricketer Nick Knight to believe that he should be in the team as a pure batsman.
He was amazed by the youngster’s strokeplay against the Australian bowlers. Knight even put himself in the batsman’s spot and imagined how tough it would be to hit Nathan Lyon on the balls turning away from the left-hander.
AUS v IND 2020-21: Cricket fraternity hails Rishabh Pant’s counter-attacking 97 on Day 5 at SCG
Nick Knight told Sony Sports Network, “He is a top class batsman and not a wicketkeeper. His bravery and strokeplay is quite extraordinary, I am a left-hander but thinking of taking those options against Lyon with ball turning away, that is the almost the toughest shot to lay. Coming down the pitch on an off-spinner.”
Knight even went on to think about Rishabh Pant batting at no.5 when the Indian skipper Virat Kohli is back in the side.
“He even on a long-on in play is saying, ‘No, no it’s my day and I am going to say how good I am’, and he did exactly that. There was so much to admire about the way that he played. I think India should look to do that, on 5, behind Kohli or whatever. I would give him chance to become top-class batsman in world cricket,” he suggested.
(Sony Sports inputs)