Indian off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin was in awe of Rishabh Pant’s blazing innings against Australia on the fifth day of the third Test in Sydney. Ravichandran Ashwin played a significant role as India managed a famous draw in the third Test, putting up a 131-over vigil. The 34-year old agreed that Rishabh Pant’s innings set them up for the great escape and kept them at the edge of their seats.
Rishabh Pant arrived at the crease after Indian captain Ajinkya Rahane perished early on the fifth day. The left-handed batsman did not hang around for long and went after the bowlers and counterattacked to put the pressure on the opposition. Pant stitched a stand of 148 along with Cheteshwar Pujara to bring the tourists back in the game. He fell three short of triple figures as Nathan Lyon picked up his wicket.
Even as Cheteshwar Pujara departed for 77 off 205 balls, the Indian team did not perturb as Ravichandran Ashwin and Hanuma Vihari put up yet another rearguard. The duo faced 258 deliveries combined and 131 overs, blunting Australia’s pace attack. As for the hosts, their bowlers created chances; unfortunately, luck did not go their way. Australia’s captain Tim Paine, in particular, dropped three behind the stumps.
Rishabh Pant is quite electrical: Ravichandran Ashwin
Ravichandran Ashwin underlined that chasing 400 in the fourth innings was never going to be a cakewalk; however, Rishabh Pant’s 97 set it up. At the same time, the veteran spinner feels that one does not want to be on either dressing room since they both remain nervous when Pant bats. Ashwin added that losing Pujara and Pant quickly put them on the back foot.
“Look I mean, chasing 400 in the final innings in Sydney with the wicket going a bit up and down from Day 3 was never going to be easy. But that knock from Rishabh set us up. That’s the sort of player he is, he is quite electrical. You don’t want to be in both dressing rooms when he bat. The opposition dressing room would be hoping for a wicket when watching him bat and we are sitting here, thinking he shouldn’t play a rash shot. So, he puts you on the tenterhooks. But his knock set us up. But we lost Rishabh and Pujara back-to-back which sort of put things back a bit,” Ashwin said as quoted by India Today.