Former Indian Skipper, Sunil Gavaskar, was impressed with the way left-handed batsman Rishabh pant paced his innings despite being struck on his elbow during Team India’s first innings through a short ball from Pat Cummins on Day 3.
However scans showed that there was no fracture, his elbow was bruised and Pant showed great character to bat through the pain.
After losing skipper, Ajinkya Rahane, in the second over of day 5, Rishabh Pant ahead of Hanuma Vihari at no.5 to join Cheteshwar Pujara in India’s chase of 407.
Rishabh pant, 23, took the charge against a lethal Australian bowling attack and played a splendid 118 ball 97 knock in the fourth innings and reignited India’s hopes.
Rishabh Pant is often criticized for playing rash shots and not giving himself enough time to settle but once the left-handed batsman was settled he attacked veteran Australian off-spinner, Nathon Lyon, and disrupted his rhythm.
Indian legend, Sunil Gavaskar, proclaimed that with injuries to both Rishabh Pant and Ravindra Jadeja he had doubts whether the visitors would survive even till Tea on day 5 at SCG.
“Not really, I will be honest. We did know what the extent of Rishabh Pant’s injury was. We weren’t very sure whether Ravindra Jadeja would come into bat. With two batsmen a little bit uncertain, I wasn’t very certain whether they would be able to survive even up to Tea. That was what my thinking was.” Sunil Gavaskar told India today.
Sunil Gavaskar, 71, observed how the wicket-keeper batsman approached his innings and took 35 balls to settle himself and read the conditions.
“Then Rishabh Pant came in, took 35 deliveries for 5 runs, he assessed the wicket and then went down the pitch to try and hit Nathan Lyon for those big sixes. Threw him off his line and length, that was wonderful cricketing thinking,” said Sunil Gavaskar.
“That’s the youth you have today. The youth are fearless, they were not worried about tomorrow, they are very confident about their abilities. And that is what was seen. What impressed me more than the shots that he played, later on, was the way he played himself in for 35 deliveries and saw what the pitch was doing,” he added.
Sunil Gavaskar believes the time that Rishabh Pant gave himself to get settled at the crease actually helped his injury get better and said Rishabh Pant almost put visitors in a position where they could have won.
“He also allowed the injury to get a little bit better. The injury gets warmed up when the adrenaline is flowing. Then you don’t think about soreness. Once he was a little bit more confident that his injury won’t stop him from playing the big shots, he went out and played the big shots and almost put India in a position where India could win.” Gavaskar said.
Despite their rising injury woes, Team India pulled off a miraculous escape from the jaws of defeat to draw the third Test of ongoing Border-Gavaskar trophy at SCG.
The fourth and final Test between Australia and India will be played from January 15 at the Gabba in Brisbane.
(India Today inputs)