Indian vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane has said that dynamic wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant plays his game in a certain way and the team-management does not intend to disturb that as it allows him to make full use of his talent, something that we saw to the hilt in the recently-concluded Test series against Australia.
After having been dropped from the series-opener at the Adelaide Oval, Rishabh Pant made his way back in the set-up in the wake of shambles of 36 all-out. And, the southpaw made an instant impact.
He scored a counter-attacking 40-ball 29 in the first innings of the Boxing Day at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, one that helped India wrestle back the initiative from the Australians, eventually paving way for the tourists to take a match-winning lead.
But unarguably, it was his twin fourth innings knocks at the SCG and the Gabba that encapsulated Rishabh Pant’s talent and game-changing ability to the hilt.
His counter-attacking 97 off 119 balls when India were battling for a draw on the fifth day Sydney pitch gave the tourists a glimmer of hope for an unlikely win out of nowhere, which Ajinkya Rahane admitted in an interview with the Indian Express.
Pant was eventually dismissed for 97 and India held on to a draw. And, then a week later, he continued from where he had left in Sydney as he smoked a matured yet counter-attacking 89* to pave way for their third-highest successive run-chase (328) in Test history and in the process breach the ‘Gabbatoir’
“For a player like Rishabh, you don’t want him to think too much, or tell him too much… He knows his game really well, he plays in a certain fashion, and you don’t want to disturb that. Because of his innings, we were in a situation to win the Test match in Sydney… So for a player like him, you just want to leave him alone, back him and just ask him to play his normal game,” said Rahane.
Pant eventually ended up as India’s leading run-scorer- 274 runs in three Tests [five innings] at an average of 68.50.