Former Indian opener, Gautam Gambhir showered praises on the young wicket-keeper batsman, Rishabh Pant after the latter played a flashy knock of 97 in 118 balls in India’s draw against Australia in the 3rd Test in Syndey on Monday. However, a lot of pundits also raised questions regarding the approach of Rishabh Pant, which at times, is regarded as reckless. However, Gambhir said Pant should back his strength and bat the way he bats.
India was hampered by injuries in the lead up to Day 5 of the Sydney Test, where they were set a mammoth target of 407. Resuming their innings on the overnight score of 98 for 2, India lost captain Ajinykya Rahane early. Much to the surprise of quite a few, Rishabh Pant, despite having an elbow injury, walked out to bat at No.5 ahead of Hanuma Vihari. He took his time to settle into the innings but he switched gears and took the attack to Australia bowlers, hitting off-spinner Nathan Lyon out of the attack.
Talking about the youngster, 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. 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, which probably would have been the most historic win ever.”
Meanwhile, the former Indian opener also showered praises on Cheteshwar Pujara, saying he is one of the few batsmen in world cricket who can playtime. Pujara batted 205 balls for his 77 in the 4th innings before Hanuma Vihari and R Ashwin combined to pull off one of the most heroic draws.
Gautam Gambhir elaborated, “When we talk about Cheteshwar Pujara, you can talk as much as you can and as much as you want about his strike-rate, but there are very few batters going around in world cricket who can actually playtime and session and he’s one of them. One might just think that you are only been able to draw the Test match, but these kinds of draws are probably as big as winning in Australia.”