Rishabh Pant, on Monday, played one of his finest knocks in international cricket, scoring a heroic 97 on the fifth and final day of the ongoing third Test against Australia at the Sydney Cricket Ground. Starting the day on 98 for 2 in pursuit of an improbable 407, India were off to a disastrous start as they could add only four runs before their skipper Ajinkya Rahane was sent back by Nathan Lyon.
Rishabh Pant then took charge of the innings in the company of Cheteshwar Pujara, helping India score more than 100 runs in the morning session. Not very long ago, there were doubts that the wicketkeeper-batsman might not even bat in the game after coping a nasty blow on his left elbow while batting in the first innings of the match.
But Rishabh Pant bravely came out to bat and turned the game on its head. The southpaw started in an uncharacteristic manner, scoring only 7 off 36 balls before switching gears. He found his groove and raced away to 50 off just 64 balls. Rishabh Pant kept the scoreboard ticking with singles, boundaries and even clobbered off-spinner Nathan Lyon for back-to-back boundaries including a six over long on.
He hit the Australia spin spearhead for two more sixes as he took the attack to the hosts. Rishabh Pant was looking comfortable against the Australian bowlers and was looking set for his second Test century in Australia and at the Sydney Cricket Ground. He needed three more runs to score his ton but perished while trying to hit Lyon for a big shot. Rishabh Pant’s 97 run knock came off just 118 balls and was studded with 12 fours and 3 sixes.
Here are some of the reactions to Rishabh Pant’s heroic knock:
Well played brother ! 🙌❤️ https://t.co/XCMcSUvCjN
— Suresh Raina🇮🇳 (@ImRaina) January 11, 2021
— VVS Laxman (@VVSLaxman281) January 11, 2021
"A ship in the harbour is safe. But that's not what ships are built for." Rishabh Pant
— Dan Colasimone (@DanColasimone) January 11, 2021
— Brad Hogg (@Brad_Hogg) January 11, 2021
Special knock that by Pant.#AUSvsIND
— Jason Gillespie 🌱 (@dizzy259) January 11, 2021
— Tim Macdonald (@timmacs) January 11, 2021
What a knock @RishabhPant17 – be proud of what you have done – that is one of the best counter attacking day 5 knocks by an Indian in the history of test cricket. Come on @cheteshwar1 and @Hanumavihari
— Parth Jindal (@ParthJindal11) January 11, 2021
— Aakash Chopra (@cricketaakash) January 11, 2021
— Vikrant Gupta (@vikrantgupta73) January 11, 2021
— Surya Kumar Yadav (@surya_14kumar) January 11, 2021
Great knock from Pant 👏 https://t.co/HHfOTAM9jh
— Damien Fleming (@bowlologist) January 11, 2021
The century wasn't to be. But it is easily Pant's best test innings. You can't fault him the shot because it was many of those that offered a glimmer of victory when none believed it was possible.
— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) January 11, 2021