Rishabh Pant roared back to some form with a 73-ball century in the pink-ball practice match against Australia A. The knock has pretty much put him in a pole position to be in India’s playing eleven for the upcoming first Test against Australia. The youngster has been India’s first choice ahead of Wriddhiman Saha in overseas Tests and he has further bolstered his chances with the timely knock.
The left-handed batsman took the bowlers to the cleaners during his whirlwind knock. He reached his ton off just 73 balls and was unbeaten on 103 when stumps were called and India declared. Along with him, Hanuma Vihari scored an unbeaten century too.
The knock was a much-needed one for Rishabh Pant. The highly-rated batsman has endured a tough 12 months which has seen him lose his place in the limited-overs squads. He was also under pressure to deliver after managing just five in the first innings of the ongoing game.
And he responded in style by smashing a 73-ball ton. His stunning knock was studded with 9 fours and six sixes. And the highlight of his knock was the way in which he reached his century. He smashed 22 runs in the final over of the day to complete his ton.
What made Rishabh Pant angry?:
Speaking at the end of the match on Sunday, Rishabh Pant revealed how getting angry inspired him to complete his century. The youngster revealed that getting hit on his belly on the first ball of the last over made him go for the ton. He was batting on 81 when Jack Wildermuth came to bowl the final over of the day.
On the very first ball, the pacer hit Rishabh Pant on his belly and the chances of seeing the latter reaching his ton was looking absolutely bleak. However, the southpaw showed his talent by dispatching the next five deliveries to boundary and reaching his ton in style. The second and third ball went for fours before he pulled one for a six. The next two balls went for fours too, taking Rishabh Pant’s score to 103.
“When I went out to bat a lot of overs were left, so (Hanuma) Vihari and I wanted to build a good partnership. We wanted to bat as much as possible. I was just trying to give myself as much time as possible and slowly I started to develop confidence,” Rishabh Pant told the BCCI’s official website.
“As I approached my century, I realised I needed some 20-odd runs [I think] to get it. My first reaction was that I won’t be able to get it tonight. When the first ball hit me on my stomach, it made me angry.
That’s when I said to myself ‘Now, I have to try going for a couple of shots’. Vihari came and told me ‘the century can be completed; you should try to go for it. Else, bat tomorrow and get there without any rush. I said ‘I’ll try. If I can get it, well and good. In the flow, the bowler kept bowling and I kept hitting,” he added.
Here is a clip showing Rishabh Pant smashing the 22 runs in an over: