Former India cricketer, Gautam Gambhir opines that India had a chance to win the drawn Sydney Test against Australia had Rishabh Pant batted for a bit longer. In India’s second innings, Pant was given a promotion over Hanuma Vihari.
On Day 5 at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG), he came to bat at number 5 at the score of 102/3 while chasing an impossible-looking target of 407. After being cautious for about an hour – 7 runs from 36 balls – the left-hander staged a counter-attack against Nathan Lyon
He smashed the off-spinner for a boundary and a maximum and just continued with the momentum. Unafraid, of Lyon’s ability to turn the ball away from him, Pant skipped down the track and harrumphed Lyon for three maximums along with a dozen boundaries to all the Aussie bowlers. The 23-year-old made look the target of 407, which once seemed insurmountable, as chasable and lit the glimmer of hope for the Indian fans.
Pant batted the way he should’ve batted: Gautam Gambhir
Unfortunately, Pant’s mercurial sojourn ended; on 97. he once again pranced on to a wider delivery from Lyon, failing to connect and lobbed a catch to Pat Cummins at the point.
Gautam Gambhir, who has spent lots of time with Rishabh Pant for Delhi’s domestic team and for the now-defunct Delhi Daredevils, believes that the wicket-keeper batsman batted the way he bats, and got out the way playing his shots.
As quoted by India Today, Gautam Gambhir said, “Rishabh Pant batted really well. Obviously, he batted the way he should’ve batted and he backed his strengths and he lived by the sword and you die by it.”
The former Kolkata Knight Riders skipper reckons Pant, who was also battling with elbow pain, shouldn’t be criticized for his approach as with the same style he made those 97 runs which put India in a chance to win the game. With mammoth efforts from the Indian batsmen, they saved the match in a series that stands level – the fourth and last Test in Brisbane commences on 15th January.
“Yes, people might just say that there was no need to play that shot, but he kept playing and kept India in the game. Had he batted a bit more longer India could have actually gone on to win the Test match, that probably would have been the most historic win ever,” Gautam Gambhir added.