Rishabh Pant launched a stunning counter-attack against the English spinner on the third afternoon of the ongoing Test.
The southpaw was particularly brutal against left-arm orthodox Jack Leach. With Leach having enough rough marks outside the left-hander’s off-stump to exploit, Pant decided to take the English spinner downtown.
The 23-year-old smoked Leech for as many four sixes and two fours before the Tea break to rocket his way to a 40-ball 50.
As it always happens when Pant played in his typically aggressive manner, a section of cricket fans questioned his approach given the fact that India was so far behind in the game.
However, Gambhir reckoned that it was a brilliantly calculated assault by the Delhi batsman as he chooses to negate the threat that Leach would have posed due to the rough marks.
“The best thing is he is backing himself to take on the left-arm spinner. And, if he is backs himself and confident enough that he can clear the ropes, there is nothing wrong with it,” Gambhir told ESPNCricinfo.
“Rather than just keep defending from that rough and one ball is just going to pop up and go to short leg, its better to back yourself and get as many runs as possible, irrespective of what format you are playing, it’s about scoring runs, it’s not about to keep defending,” he added.
Gambhir further added that as long as Rishabh Pant keeps backing himself and is happy with his approach then he should continue doing the same. the former opener feels that in doing that, he is at least not trying to be someone else.
“You live by the sword, you die by it. When it comes off, people will keep raving about it, if it doesn’t, there will be a lot of criticism. If Rishabh is happy with himself, if he is satisfied with what he is looking at, if you keep backing yourself then it fair enough. At least he is not trying to be someone else, he is trying to be himself which is very very important,” he added.
As Gambhir pointed out, Rishabh Pant did ‘die’ by his sword, as he finally mistimed an attempted lofted drive off Dom Bess for the score of 92- his fourth 90+ score in Test cricket.